Improving communities by ensuring access to clean water in Zambia and Malawi
Improving livelihoods through sustainable energy and water solutions in Malawi
A similar project has been implemented in the Kamusiya village of the Dedza district located in the central region of Malawi. The village is based along Lake Malawi, the third largest freshwater body in Africa. A baseline study conducted at the start of the project found that there were no sanitary facilities in the village as well as a lack of water treatment availability. The villagers complained about the salinity of the water, relying on the lake for consumption and farming. Without a connection to the power grid, the community is an off-grid area. Phone charging was mostly done at the trading centre, and solar home systems were used in nearby households.
The challenges faced by the community will soon be addressed with the establishment of solar panels on a 4-hectare plot of land. The solar panels will be used to pump water for both irrigation and domestic use, while the electricity generated will be harnessed for productive purposes.
THE NEXUS REGIONAL DIALOGUE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
The Southern African region is endowed with abundant water, energy and food resources and is home to 16 countries and 360 million people. With six landlocked countries and three island states, regional cooperation to manage water, food and energy resources is a necessity for poverty reduction and equitable, sustainable regional development. Around 60% of the population of the SADC live in rural areas relying on rain-fed agriculure and lack basic energy, water, and sanitation services. Ensuring the security of water, energy and food resources is at the heart of the region’s development, integration and resilience goals.
Since 2016, the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme in Southern Africa has been working across the region to institutionalise the WEF Nexus in public policy and planning. In the programme’s second phase they continue this work with demonstration projects that show the value-added of the WEF Nexus, capacity building activities and the identification of financing opportunities.
Providing energy and clean water: The Nexus approach in action
The local climate change risks in Zambia and Malawi were identified through a participatory approach involving both communities. One of the aims of the communities was to use the WEF Nexus approach to increase farming capacity for food production and provide access to clean water and electricity. Prior to the implementation of the project, clean water was difficult to obtain due to the region’s drought-prone nature. However, upon its completion, the residents of these regions will significantly benefit from the demonstration project, particularly the Katapazi community, by facilitating the availability of potable water and reliable electrical power through upscaling farming irrigation.
The project has also focused on gender empowerment and sustainability, with a significant portion of the project´s work involving the installation of solar panels and related infrastructure. The emphasis on community participation has allowed for a greater involvement of women in farming and water collection activities, which have traditionally been their burden.