The physical environment
This analytical profile on the physical environment is structured as follows:
Poor environmental sanitation is a major source of public health problems and epidemics in Zambia. It is estimated that over 80% of health conditions presented at health institutions are diseases related to poor environmental sanitation, including water and food borne diseases, such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid. These environmental health problems are caused by traditional and modern environmental factors.
The urban environment
Indoor air pollution and household energy
Water, sanitation and ecosystems
According to the ZDHS 2007, only 41% of households in Zambia have access to improved sources of water. Households in urban areas are more likely to have access to improved sources of water than those in rural areas (83% compared with 19%). More than half of the households (56%) draw their water from unprotected sources. About 56% of the households do not treat their water, while only 34% use appropriate methods of treating their water. Overall, 25% of households in Zambia have no toilet facilities. This problem is more common in rural areas (37%) than in urban areas (2%). Almost four in ten households in Zambia (39%) use pit latrines that are open or have no slab (27% in urban areas and 45% in rural areas). Flush toilets are mainly found in urban areas and are used by 26% of households in urban areas, compared with 1% in rural areas. Partly because of the water and sanitation conditions, the CFR for Diarrhea has only showed a slight decrease from 43 in 2006 and to 40 in 2008 per 1000 admissions (HIMS).
Climate change is a major global threat to health, and is becoming a major problem for Zambia. The Zambia National Policy on Environment of 2005 recognizes the need to harmonize the different sectoral development strategies, through a National Climate Change Response Strategy.