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WWF Zambia and Partners Develop River Basin Health Report Card

WWF Zambia has been working on the Kafue Flats since its inception. As part of our efforts to ensure that the Flats are protected, we collaborated with University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES), the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and other Zambian government agencies, academic institutions, NGOs representatives, community based organizations, and the private sector (with funding from WWF Netherlands) to create the Lower Kafue River Basin Report Card through a series of stakeholder workshops.

© WWF Zambia
Stakeholders meeting during the Basin Health Report Card creation process.

A River Basin Health Report Card is an assessment and communication product that compares ecological, social, and/or economic information against pre-defined goals or objectives. Similar to school report cards, River Basin Health Report cards provide performance-driven numeric grades or letters that reflect the status of a river basin on a regular basis.

In order to raise awareness on the Basin Health Report Card process, and disseminate information about the findings, we collaborated with a local civil society organization, Peoples' Action Forum (PAF) and the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and held community meetings in; Mazabuka, Monze, Namwala, Mumbwa and Kafue, as these are dependent on the Lower Kafue.

© WWF Zambia
A community meeting held in Mumbwa at Chief Shakumbila's palace, to disseminate the Basin Health Report Card process.
© WWF Zambia
WWF representative James Mbewe, speaking with communities about the Basin Health Report Card process.
© WWF Zambia
Janet Nyoni, Programme Manager for People's Action Forum speaking with communities.
© WWF Zambia
Chipo Gift Lubambe from the Water Resources Management Authority, explaining the potential threats to the Lower Kafue River Basin.

Community mobilization and information dissemination activities for the River Basin Report Card process and its finding received maximum attention by all basin stakeholders and won traditional leadership applause. During the meetings, we were very happy to learn that the community members are familiar and conversant with the indicators we monitored during River Basin Report Card development.

© Arnold Chasaya/WWF
A community member from Monze explaining the negative changes she has seen on the Lower Kafue overtime.

Community involvement in the report card development process is proving to be the best approach ever! I believe that our work has given a voice to community members to speak and recommend workable ways of managing water resources, to policy and decision makers.

James Mbewe, Young Expert Professional

James Mbewe is a Young Expert Professional managing River Basin Report Cards at WWF Zambia.