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Pictured: Members of the Plumbers Association of Zambia (PAZA) host a training workshop in Lusaka WASH Academy College to discuss lessons and ideas inspired by the U.S. #SepticSmartWeek program.
The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) is excited to announce a new partnership with the Plumbers Association of Zambia (PAZA).
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) centers on the Lusaka WASH Academy College (LWAC), the hub for PAZA activities and outreach across the region. LWAC has recently moved premises, relocating to a new site within the African Future College in Lusaka, and upgrading accreditations with the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority of Zambia (TEVETA). IWSH has provided a donation toward these registrations, plus the purchase of tools and resources for the upcoming academic year.
PAZA and IWSH now aim to collaborate further in the areas of vocational education and training development, women’s empowerment, codes and standards development, public health awareness, and other outreach activities that support the sustainable delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services to underserved populations and communities in Zambia.
“As fellow members of the World Plumbing Council, we are pleased to connect officially with PAZA and support the development of the LWAC for the academic year ahead,” said Seán Kearney, IWSH managing director. “Our aim is that by helping bridge the gap between the industry and the classroom — promoting quality skills training, and PAZA’s own training institute focusing specifically on water related programs — our organizations can build further capacity together.”
Alongside plumbers, LWAC also welcomes individuals across the wider industry, including suppliers, manufacturers and those who may wish to upgrade their credentials. PAZA’s operation of LWAC will contribute to the delivery of quality skills training in all parts of Zambia, and at the wider regional level. Engagement with TEVETA will improve the curriculum, specifically for plumbing/water operation and supply and extend from Craft certificate to Diploma level.
“Our partnership with IWSH will help PAZA develop plumbing standards, provide quality services, uphold plumbing professionalism, protect our members, and promote and encourage young people to choose the right careers for a better future,” said Moses Chongo, PAZA CEO and president. “We shall continue to engage other stakeholders, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, training providers, and education providers to bring positive ideas to contribute to the growth of the organization.”
LWAC offers courses in Water Operation and Supply Technology, Plumbing and Water Supply, Environmental Health, Water and Sanitation, Water Supply and Electrical, Wastewater Treatment and Sludge Management Technology, and Water Quality Management. It expects to train between 200 – 300 vulnerable youths each academic year, including community outreach projects that drill boreholes and build public toilets and bathrooms for schools, rural health clinics and community markets.
Creating opportunities and supporting young Zambian women to advance in the plumbing trade is also a key PAZA objective.
“It is very important, as a woman, to join the group of men in the plumbing and water industry,” said Violet Siansumo, Women’s Plumbing co-coordinator. Explaining how she joined water operation and supply as a student, Siansumo said, “It was a challenge. Some fellow women were discouraging me so that I cannot continue my studies because it’s a man’s industry. But I am now able to feed myself and my family, and my passion is to extend the same career to other women and support vulnerable young girls seeking a quality education and skills training in plumbing.”
PAZA was founded in Lusaka in June 2019 and joined the World Plumbing Council the same year. With more than 80 members and growing — from a variety of backgrounds including plumbing, water operation and supply, HVAC, mechanical plumbing services, pipefitting, and water pump maintenance — the association is on an upward trajectory and well-positioned to continue its growth in the coming years, developing the plumbing industry in Zambia and the surrounding region.