GCU research to improve access to water in Malawi and Zambia


Glasgow Caledonian University’s Centre for Climate Justice has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund for a new project to improve access to water among the poorest and most vulnerable groups in Malawi and Zambia.

The 18-month £600,000 Water for ALL project aims to help build sustainable capacity in achieving equity and entitlement in accessing water.

GCU’s Director of the Centre for Climate Justice, Professor Tahseen Jafry, will lead the project, working with the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi, and the University of Lusaka.

Rural communities, particularly women and children, face major challenges in accessing water, often walking long distances daily to public water points to fetch water and at risk from suffering risks of contracting disease from contaminated water. Improving access to water supply services in Zambia and Malawi would promote not only dignity, equity, compassion and solidarity among people but also contribute to the reduction of diseases and poverty.

The governments of Malawi and Zambia recognise that global climate change has serious implications for their countries. A number of frameworks and policies are set to promote sustainable water resources management and facilitate the equitable provision of adequate quantity and quality water.

This project will share knowledge to support these national policies and strategies on water and the governments’ gender policies by addressing some of the challenges and bottlenecks through a climate justice framework.

GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies said: “I am delighted that we have secured this funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund. We can now build upon the existing work that we have undertaken with the Scottish Government, the Mary Robinson Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to promote a sustainable environment for communities in Malawi and Zambia. This new Centre for Climate Justice project aligns with both the Scottish Government’s priorities in international development, and with our University’s social mission to work for the common good, at home and abroad.”

The Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund demonstrates Scotland’s role in championing climate justice and in supporting the development of climate adaptation solutions.

This is the second £3 million round of funding under the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund which supports adaptation projects in Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, a centre of excellence in climate justice research, was recently funded by the Scottish Government via Scotland’s Climate 2020 Group for a campaign encouraging communities in Malawi to replace dangerous and costly kerosene lamps, batteries and candles with environmentally friendly solar lighting that helps families to tackle poverty.

The new Scottish Government Climate Justice Fund projects are being announced today (October 9) by MSP Paul Wheelhouse at GCU’s Achieving Climate Justice Dialogue event in London.

Mr Wheelhouse said: “Our climate justice ambition is already delivering real results on the ground and this money will see further adaptation in four target countries; Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. Scotland operates a modest budget, but in leading by example we may encourage other nations to use their larger budgets to tackle climate justice, learning from our existing projects.”

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