Help to self-help: Clean Water for Zambia


Our Goal

The project aims to improve access to clean water for household and productive purposes in the Petauke district of Zambia. The project, led by the Jacana Foundation, trains local craftsmen in well and pump construction and installation, stimulating demand through demonstration projects at selected households.

Project Profile

Zambia has 5 to 6 months of no rainfall per year, which limits crop farmers’ productivity. This project promotes the notion of self-supply and Simple Market-based Affordable Repair Technologies (SMARTech) to support local communities to have affordable and sustainable access to water.

Local entrepreneurs are carefully selected and trained to build and repair local water solutions. For example, welders are trained in the production of pumps and drilling equipment and well diggers are trained in manual drilling and installation of solar and hand pumps.

The solutions are produced locally and are therefore affordable and can be maintained locally. Users are encouraged to pay a small commitment fee for the operation and maintenance of the systems.

With this approach, the project creates a local market, where users buy pumps and boreholes directly from the welders and drillers even without support from NGOs or the Government.

Additionally, farmers are trained in agroecology to produce organic products for their families and the market, increasing food security and improving their health. Many of these farmers become customers of the trained artisans, applying for boreholes to be drilled on their property to support agricultural production. This integrated approach not only enhances water access but also promotes sustainable agricultural practices and economic development within the community.


District of Petauke, Zambia


2022 – 2024



Key Services Provided

  • Technical training of local professionals on water solutions (incl. welding; drilling; installation; operation and maintenance; etc.)
  • Capacity building on business and entrepreneurial skills
  • Training of local communities on sustainable farming practices


Karla Schlie, Project Coordinator

Project achievements


people have new access to basic drinking water services (53% women and 47% men).


people have improved or secured access to water.


water pumps installed.


local artisans and entrepreneurs have improved technical and entrepreneurial skills.


the SMART Centre approach was recognised by local authorities and community members.

Jelita Phiri, Farmer in Petauke, Zambia

«Previously, we could not grow enough vegetables due to lack of water and it was difficult to send our children to school. (…) Now, we don’t have challenges with water anymore. We have water for growing vegetables, and there is enough for our pigs too. (…) We also learned how to make soluble fertilisers to boost our crop growth.»

(See her story on Youtube)

Violet Zulu, Farmer in Petauke, Zambia

«My name is Violet Zulu. I am 55 years old and live in Manchinchi Village, Petauke. I am a farmer and mostly grow rain-fed maize, soy-beans, sunflowers, and groundnuts for house-hold consumption and for selling. Before the project, I had challenges selling my farm pro-duce because they mostly fetched low prices compared to the production cost. This negative-ly affected my income and food security. I could not get enough money to feed my family all year. As you know, I only harvest crops once a year. If I don’t sell my produce at a good price, then I incur a loss. Thanks to the project, I learned business skills and drilled a borehole which I am now using to water my garden. The borehole has really helped me because I am able to water my garden and have an income. This helps me sustain my family and enabled me to buy iron sheets for the house I built.»

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