Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage Project

  Reducing poverty and advancing economic growth through investments in critical infrastructure.

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) | Lusaka, Zambia


In Zambia, the average walking distance from a home to a source of water is estimated to be 1 to 3 kilometers – a 30 minute walk. Clean water available for drinking and other domestic uses is well below the amount required for a healthy, disease-free environment. Poor water supply and sanitation services in peri-urban areas have caused annual outbreaks of waterborne diseases during the rainy season. This not only places a heavy economic burden on already impoverished communities, but also on public health services. In partnership with the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency, invested $355M (USD) to support Zambian efforts to improve urban water, sewerage, and drainage infrastructure and strengthen institutions responsible for operating and maintaining this infrastructure.

Project Scope

The compact’s infrastructure component supports the water supply and sanitation networks managed by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) and the drainage network management by the Lusaka City Council (LCC).  This includes expansion of the city’s water supply network, rehabilitation and expansion of select sewer networks, improvements to drainage infrastructure, and professional support services. The institutional strengthening component provides technical assistance and support to LWSC and also LCC for activities such as the development of a sustainable non‐revenue water (NRW) management program, a utility‐wide asset management program, drainage maintenance and solid waste management.

MWH was selected to provide independent engineer and technical advisory services, working directly with MCC staff as they oversee the compact’s activities. MWH’s team comprises a variety of specialists with expertise in construction management, contract management, environmental management, social and gender impacts, resettlement, utility asset management, communications, and finances and economics. Through ongoing communications with MCC and MCA-Zambia, including review of regular status reports and periodic site visits, services are provided on an “as needed” basis as the work progresses and challenges arise.

new household water connections

additional stand-alone water supply kiosks

new household sewerage connections

kilometers of storm drainage channels rehabilitated

Lusaka, Zambia

hours per day that the water supply will be available (currently at 18 hours per day)

  • non-revenue water (i.e. volume of water “lost”) reduced from 48% to 25% 25%
  • total water distribution network increased from 1,372 kilometers to 1,547 kilometers 12%
  • total sewage network increased from 408 km to 490 km 20%
  • Cases of infectious diarrhea and cholera reduced by 77% 77%

Project Challenge

MWH’s depth of technical expertise and successful history of large-scale program/project management allows us to ably serve in the crucial role of helping MCC monitor the progress of project implementation, identifying potential issues early, and developing corrective measures when necessary to ensure the investment program can be completed on time and within budget. This is particularly essential for the Zambia compact, given the size of the program and number of different projects and contracts to be managed (9 construction projects and 7 contracts), and MCC’s unique development approach that establishes fixed limits on available funding and implementation timelines.

Project Solution/Results

Up to 150,000 people are expected to benefit from new water service, and the number of household water connections is expected to increase by approximately 16,790 as a result of infrastructure improvements.

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