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Alba Iulia
Friday, January 22, 2021

Water shortage looms in Zambia

General News Water shortage looms in Zambia

File:The heavy rainfall being experienced in some parts of the country have caused severe floods.  Here, a motorist wades in a flood of stagnate rainwater in Kanyama Township
File:The heavy rainfall being experienced in some parts of the
country have caused severe floods. Here, a motorist wades in a flood
of stagnate rainwater in Kanyama Township

The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has warned that Zambia will be forced to ration water because of the poor rainfall pattern experienced this season.

DMMU national coordinator Patrick Kangwa called on relevant stakeholders to take appropriate measures in anticipation of crop failure due to poor rainfall pattern.

The country has experienced an unpredictable rainfall pattern with more than 14 days of a dry spell reported in Western, Southern and Eastern provinces which has resulted into wilting of crops.
“Water for power generation, irrigation, domestic and other uses will significantly reduce in the coming months and this will call for enhanced water and electricity rationing throughout the country,” Mr Kangwa said.

The Government expected the yields to be much lower than the previous years because of the prolonged dry spells.The dry spell over the affected areas of the country has led to wilting and crop failure, raising production uncertainty.

“The crop damage is reported to be irreversible as the rainy season for agriculture purposes comes to an end. The Government is fully aware of the prevailing situation and is putting in place some measures in the short to medium term while awaiting the results from the in-depth assessment that is currently in progress,” he added.

The rainfall forecast in September last year had indicated that most parts of the country were expecting normal rainfall during October to December with isolated areas likely to get normal to below normal rainfall.The forecast further indicated that normal to above normal rainfall was likely to be received during between January and March 2015.

However, the country experienced mixed rainfall performance with an early onset confined to Northern, Luapula, some parts Western and Western Provinces.The rest of the country experienced a late onset with much of the rains received during the last 10 days of December 2014.

Mr Kangwa said while crops looked fined in February, the situation in the southern half of the country deteriorated due to the prolonged dry spell.
He however, assured that despite the situation being desperate, the Government would do everything possible to mitigate the impacts of the poor performance of the rainy season.


  1. If Zambia, with so many big rivers and streams able to withstand droughts, fears about looming water shortages, what would sudan, somali etc say about their situation? In United Arab Emirates, no fears of water shortages have been reported in the recent years, instead their cities have been green throughout the year.

    • The Middle Eastern countries have money and so have desalination plants…
      Zambian planners do not plan ahead and as much as we have all these water bodies, no one sees the necessity of damming or piping water from one place to another.

    • more than 40% of all fresh water in the SADCC region is found in Zambia and yet we have lamentably failed to manage with just one anticipated drought.

      Whats wrong with us Zambians…..not govt alone but all Zambians?

      Looks like we love living in poverty and do nothing about it.

    • “In the abundance of water the foul is thirsty. Too much talk and no one does the work. Zambia has every resource at its disposal, only lacks a practical approach to resource management.

  2. It seems like we are always doing damage control. Blame it on the rains….I remember when FRA maize was wasted, they blamed the rain again. Too much rain they said.

  3. Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu, Lake Tanganika, Lake kariba, Kafue river, Zambezi river, Liverpool river, sell those GRZ luxury cars and do the the water engineering. Before I can invest home, assure me my company will not be facing water problem. Will need water to run a small factory.

  4. We have many sources of water in Zambia which we can utilize. If rainy water is erratic ,then go for other sources period. technocrats should not give alarming statements about this or that on water? But bring solutions to the table. We are confident that you are in charge and have things under control. Please, do something about this impending problem . Construction of dams in each town which benefit from river flows I.e Kitwe ,Mufulira ,Chingola. If we are not careful Kafue river will very soon “dry’ mark my word.

  5. Build reserves dams instead of complaining about floods in Lusaka. Channel that water to dams in the outskirts of Lusaka and use it for irrigation and all. Lusaka is growing at a fast pace and we have no plan on how we will supply the population with clean water. If the drainage was nicely planned, Lusaka would never experience those floods. lets a start by building proper drainages that would deposit water in reserve dam for future use. Noti ma rubbish aya yakuti drainage ipita ba nyumba ya muntu.

  6. How is this even possible in Zambia?? So we dont know what to do with the numerous water resources we have pa zed? Our Govts continue to fail us.

    We cant be having a water problem pa Zed. Its the infrastructure to reticulate the water, that iswhat we dont have!

    • Invest more money in water reticulation projects. Send professionals to learn how its done in countries that are less fortunate than us with water resources. Like Egypt for example. We are blessed with abundant water resources. Our boreholes for example are on average only 25m deep whereas in kenya they have to go up to 120m!

  7. Can one of our brilliant Zambian mathematicians help me: How many liters of water spill off all the roofs of all buildings in Zambia in a single rainy season (minimum and maximum). Another question for our brilliant Zambian engineers can this water be collected and channeled into massive reservoirs. Wouldn’t it be a great idea if such resources could be stopped from being wasted. This is not taking into account all the natural God given water bodies. My worry is the parable of the talents for which the moral is that “those who don’t use what they have will one day lose what they have”

    • Please google hydrology. When the rains fall, some water evaporates, a major proportion goes into the soil (ground water storage) and the remainder is runoff (mulamba) which is the water that goes into rivers and lakes. This water can be saved by constructing dams before it goes to the ocean. The ground is a natural water storage and you can pump it out or get it by digging shallow wells if the water table is high. In villages without piped water supply rainwater can be collected from the roofs known as rainwater harvesting. Thus you do not need to collect this rainwater because it will naturally flow into rivers where you can construct large dams. You can save as much water in a wet year which you can use the following year if there is a drought. The solution lies therefore in dams.

  8. Poor people in the land of plenty.There is even rain water harvesting.In Zambia if we can complain of water what of Botswana?
    Why can we not invest in rain water harvesting but we let it slip of and go to waste then you want to complain.Be prepared really this is not a joke.
    There will be more load shielding,water rationing,food relief and many diseases but with this broke government to expect the best is like removing blood from a rock.
    This is Zambia the real Africa

  9. Gentlemen and gentlewomen, Zambia’s management team has failed for over 50 years. Look at infrastructure going moribund, medical procedures that were possible 30 years ago being referred to RSA, appearing on a red list of ESR Global screening and all sorts of embarrassing things. What is wrong with us? Can we not do something right for a change? Look at posh neighborhoods in islands of filth and dust! It is simply and unacceptably disgusting!!! I rant and finish.

  10. South africa with four times zambia’s population and only 1/10th of Zambia’s fresh water resources is facing a drought but is not anticipating any water shortage

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