On March 15, 2017, IPA Zambia co-hosted a policy event with the International Growth Centre (IGC) to disseminate evidence on challenges of water provision in Zambia. The event was attended by 45 stakeholders including representatives from the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development; Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA); Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company; and NGOs such as GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), and NGO WASH Forum, amongst other organizations.
Professor Nava Ashraf of the London School of Economics presented findings from two studies. The first study, “Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions,” explored the roles that infrastructure, incentives and institutions play on water and sanitation management in Lusaka district. Results suggest that the optimal policy response to the last mile problem in Lusaka may require a mix of subsidies and penalties. Further institutional capacity needs to be improved and water infrastructure is vital to the growth and vitality of cities. In the second study, “Water, Health and Wealth,” the main aim of the study was to determine whether water supply shortages had an impact on economic activity and health outcomes of the city. The evidence from the study suggested that increased water supply shortages decreased economic activities and increased the incidence of water-related diseases. This was followed by commentary and a brief Q&A with the audience.