The Zambia Water Forum and Exhibition (ZAWAFE) is an annual event that is hosted by the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO). The sixth ZAWAFE conference, themed “Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Development Goals: What is Zambia Doing?”, took place on 12th and 13th June 2017 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) participated through a dedicated full-day focussed session and exhibition amongst 41 local and international exhibitors.
There were two keynote speeches and six breakaway focussed sessions. The full-day SASSCAL focussed session: SASSCAL water research contributing towards sustainable development of Southern Africa was co-chaired by the National Director – Zambia, Ms. Indie Dinala and the Director Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Jörg Helmschrot. The delegates who attended this session listened to 10 presentations from SASSCAL researchers in the water thematic area, including their Masters and PhD students. The session opened with a keynote presentation by Prof. Dr. Jörg Helmschrott entitled “An overview on the SASSCAL water research for improving the livelihood of the people in Southern Africa”.
Additional three presentations from non-SASSCAL researchers were made by Dr. Hokuto Nakata, (from JICA), Mr. Kitondo Mwelwa and Mr. Rowen Jani (from Water Resource and Management Authority, WARMA, respectively). Other focussed sessions were:
1. institutional framework for water supply and sanitation
2. sustainable wetland management: monitoring the health status of freshwater ecosystem goods and services
3. Lusaka sanitation programme
4. water resource development for socio-economic development
5. the sanitation value chain
SASSCAL was appreciated on the important role it was playing in bridging knowledge gaps through the various research and capacity development activities. Many participants expressed interest in partnering with SASSCAL, especially on data sharing. Participants were also interested in recommending the areas of interest that the various MSc and PhD students who made presentations should consider pursuing.