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The water supply system in the province is at two levels – the conventional water supply system which is obtaining in urban centres and boreholes which communities in rural areas rely upon. Previously, each local authority was responsible for supply of water within the area of its jurisdiction. With a government policy shift on urban water supply and sanitation, all water supply systems are now being managed by a commercial utility company of which all local authorities are share holders. Water supply in urban centres of the province is being managed by a commercial utility company called Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company In order to improve the urban water supply system in the province, the urban water and supply systems for Nakonde, Isoka and the Provincial Headquarters, Chinsali are currently being rehabilitated by overhauling distribution networks, construction of elevated tanks and installing modular treatment plants.

Above: A modular treatment plant in Chinsali at the intake of the water supply system.

In rural areas where there is no distribution network for conventional water supply, communities are served with boreholes which are drilled in strategic places


Sanitation in the province is quite poor and is not to the ideal levels that would guarantee public health. In the urban centres, sewerage disposal is through septic tanks and soak aways and ordinary pit latrines whilst in rural areas people entirely have to rely on pit latrines.

Urban Sanitation

Sanitation in the urban areas comprises of the following;

  • Sewerage system comprising water borne toilets that discharge into septic tanks
  • Pit latrines in the Peri urban areas
  • Refuse pits dug within yards of households.
  • Garbage damping and collection from public places such as market centres and bus stations.

Some public institutions like schools and health centres also use VIPs. Solid waste disposal is collected by local authorities and dumped at legal damp sites.

Sanitation in Rural Areas

Sanitation practices in the rural areas comprise pit latrines, refuse pits and in some cases open defection. Pit latrines are in most cases contructed using weak materials, which demand constant maintenance. Public institutions like schools and health centres also use VIPs.


Housing in the province is of two types – conventional and traditional houses. Traditional houses built from wooden poles as well as burnt mud bricks are predominant in rural areas. The majority of these houses are grass thatched whilst a few are roofed using iron sheets. Due to the lack of water borne systems in rural areas, pit latrines are used by households in these areas.

In terms of conventional housing, they are mainly predominant in the urban centres of the province the majority of which are privately owned. Government however, owns a few houses especially in the recently created districts of Mafinga and Shiwangandu and the provincial capital Chinsali. These were built by the government to facilitate relocation of public servants to these areas.