One of the facets is water-education and research which has led to the commencement of a water sampling programme on the Kafue River. This programme has been set up by WWF Zambia in coordination with Earth-Watch UK and Zambia’s Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA). The involvement of the regulatory authorities promises that the initiative will have impact. 

The programme was launched during the RowZambezi expedition on the Kafue in July 2018 since when, water sampling has been regularly carried out.

“The programme uses the concept of citizen science to observe variations in water quality and general river health,” says Daniel Phiri who is part of WWF Zambia’s Freshwater Programme. “Community members are equipped with easy-to-use water testing kits that go with a mobile application to enable easily uploading of the information which is collected online (and can be accessed by anyone).”

Phiri says the Kafue River & Rowing Centre will provide the backbone for the community programme and it will be extended to local schools.

The programme is intended to be a long-term programme.

“The communities engaged will also have representation on water users’ associations,” says Phiri. “These associations are mandated by law to monitor water quality. This principle enables communities to play a role in water resources management – to demand better governance from authorities when required, particularly when faced with challenges emanating from competing water demands.”

Further Kafue development includes a new road being completed to the Kafue River & Rowing Centre site. The road has been designed to be suitable for vehicles with boat trailers. “The road will allow us to access the site all year round,” says Phiri.

The Kafue River & Rowing Centre is a joint action partnership between World Rowing and WWF. This project was inspired by the confluence of many pressures and problems in the Kafue River in Zambia and the need to bring all stakeholders together to discuss and help find solutions.

For more information and to donate to Kafue here