Star Report

Zambia Compact

MCC partnered with the Government of Zambia to implement a $332 million compact designed to reduce poverty through economic growth. During compact development, MCC and the Government of Zambia determined waterborne illness and a lack of access to clean water to be key constraints to Zambia’s sustained economic growth. MCC’s large-scale investment focused on intensive water infrastructure investment and institutional strengthening. The compact aimed to build the government of Zambia’s capacity to effectively manage the water sector while fundamentally transforming this sector.

  • Signed: May 10, 2012
  • Entry into Force: November 15, 2013
  • Compact End Date: November 15, 2018



A resident from the Mtendere township of Lusaka poses for a portrait. MCC’s compact with Zambia is expected to benefit over one million Zambians.

Executive Summary

MCC partnered with Zambia to implement a $332 million compact designed to transform Zambia’s water sector through infrastructure development and build the government of Zambia’s institutional capacity to manage this sector.

The country of Zambia highlighted in red on a map.

Country Context

MCC and Zambia determined that clean water access was a major constraint to growth. Inadequate water infrastructure was responsible for this constraint.

MCC’s Zambia Compact sought to address flooding during the rainy season.

Infrastructure Activity

The Infrastructure Activity sought to improve the availability of clean water and reduce waterborne illness in Zambia. Investments in water supply, drainage, and sewage networks resulted in improved access to clean water.

Institutional Strengthening Activity

The objective of the Institutional Strengthening Activity was to help the Government of Zambia provide water-related services, establish a sanitation system, and maintain compact investments.

Zambians collecting water in jugs.

Innovation Grant Program

The Innovation Grant Program aimed to support solutions to improve access to drinking water, enhance sanitation and hygiene, provide household water and sanitation financing, and manage garbage in poor Lusaka communities.

Completed Mazyopa drain.

Compact Sustainability

The Zambia Compact strengthened the nation’s water sector—building water infrastructure, and establishing conditions precedent and institutional strengthening to drive and sustain this sector.

A boy rolls a barrel toward a water source in Lusaka. In partnership with MCC, the Zambian Government is working to reform the country’s water sector and improve drainage in the capital city of Lusaka to better meet citizens’ water and sanitation needs.

Compact Changes

Changes made to Zambia’s Compact included the construction of a drainage extension and two bridges to mitigate flooding, the resettlement of a larger number of people, and a decreased—but more realistic—target for the rate of sanitation connections.

Coordination and Partnerships

MCC partnered effectively with the Government of Zambia to create government infrastructure for overseeing water management. MCC funded a master plan to coordinate donors investing in water.

Policy and Institutional Reforms

The Zambia Compact included critical policy and institutional reforms focused on water financing, some of which were met and some of which were deferred.

Beyond the Compact

The Government of Zambia established and funded a Millennium Project Completion Agency to continue the work on water infrastructure. MCC and MCA made a sustained push to establish a new Solid Waste Management Company and set it up for success after the compact.

Lessons from the Compact

It is critical to the success and sustainability of the compact to work well with implementing entities. Attention should be paid to hiring, funding, incentivizing, coordinating with, and holding to account these entities.