Help to self-help: Clean Water for Zambia

Productive making blocks. Credits: Jacana Foundation (2021)

Description of the Project

This project promotes the notion of self-supply and the 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 therefore are 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 direct from the welders and drillers even without support from NGOs or Government.  

Project Period:  2022 – 2024 

Thematic Focus:
  • Access to Services
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Rural and dispersed areas

Name of Staff involved and functions performed: Matthias Saladin, Project Manager

Composting training. Credits: Jacana Foundation.

Technical training. Credits: Jacana Foundation.

Achievements in 2022-2023

3,470 people have access to basic drinking water services (53% women and 47% men).

2,573 people have improved or secured access to water (57% women and 43% men) 

142 water pumps installed.

267 local artisans, entrepreneurs and farmers trained.


“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.” (Jelita Phiri, Farmer in Petauke, Zambia)

Hands-on technical training. Credits: Jacana Foundation.

Bucket production. Credits: Jacana Foundation.