Marine Science Research Center
Water, Energy and Environment

Water, Energy and Environment Programme is among other programmes under NISIR.The programme has facilities which include a water-chemical Analytical Laboratory, Micro-biological and Energy Laboratories. Its energy pilot plant, previously hosted a joint venture to produce clay cook stoves, bricks, tiles and importantly Coal briquettes.

Who we Are

We are a team of qualified and competent researchers and laboratory staff with the mandate to conduct research, offer consultancy and analytical services in two areas i.e. Water, Energy and Environment.

What We Do

a. Research We conduct needs-based research to improve people’s livelihoods by promoting low cost technologies utilizing local materials.

What we do

b. Consultancy and Analytical Services We provide quality water testing services to a range of clients from individual to private water scheme providers and mining companies. We analyse for parameters in Microbiology, Wet Chemistry and the Heavy Metals. We offer consultancy, internships and laboratory demonstration to students.


The programme has two main areas of focus, research and development activities in water, energy and environment in order to ensure their sustainable utilisation. The programme also carries out quantitative and qualitative surface and underground water quality assessments especially in Lusaka cholera prone and urban settlements.

Other Activities Carried out

1. Biogas Technology :

Promotion of Biogas technology as an alternative energy source for cooking, heating and lighting in rural Zambia. Biogas is a clean source of energy which can be derived from organic matter, including animal waste such as cow dung and human manure and can be used for lighting, cooking, science experiments, driving a turbine to generate electricity, etc

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2.Water quality assessments in Cholera-prone areas of Lusaka, Zambia.

The goal of the LWSSD Compact is to reduce poverty through economic growth in Zambia. The Compact objectives are to expand access to and improve the reliability of the municipal water supply, to extend the sewerage network and provide access to household sanitation, and to improve drainage systems in select urban and peri-urban areas in Lusaka to decrease the incidence of water-borne and water-related diseases, generate time and cost savings for households and businesses, and reduce non-revenue water in the water supply network.

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1. Past Water Resources Research activities dealt with the monitoring and assessment of the Zambian surface and ground water resources for both quality and quantity with emphasis on heavily industrialized parts of the country.

2. Hydro–geological studies have also been conducted by the programme to determine the hydrological properties of different rock formations in drought-prone areas of Kalomo. Hydro-geological maps indicating the water potential have been prepared.

3. The major outputs of these activities include water inventory reports for the Chambeshi and Upper Kafue River Basins; water pollution data for mining areas in Chingola, Kitwe and Kalulushi and effects of effluents on the water quality of Kafue River. Kafue River water pollution reports arising from textile, tannery, yeast and sugar industries in Kafue and Mazabuka have been produced.

4. The programme provided leadership in the drafting of the Environmental Pollution Protection and Control Act of 1990, which resulted in the formation of the Environmental Council of Zambia.

5. The programme also participated in the JICA-sponsored activity which produced the National Water Resources Master Plan for Zambia of 1995

6 The programme was instrumental in the identification of pesticide pollution in Chiawa area of the Zambezi Valley that occurred due to large scale spraying in the farming activities in the valley.

7. The programme has also completed two underground water studies. One collaborative study with the Department of Water affairs and the IAEA focused on the Lusaka underground water quality. The other collaborative study with the Institute for Eco-development Strategies and Toxicology focused on the underground water quality of boreholes and shallow wells in Chazanga and Kanyama Compounds.

8. There was focus also on consultancy and demand driven analytical services such that in recent years Natural Valley as the first manufacturer of bottled Manzi Valley water was first certified by NISIR.

9. The energy research activities focused on the adaptation of biogas technology to Zambian conditions such as feed stocks, designs development and the popularisation and use in the village settings and in schools off the national electricity grids as a source of heating for conducting experiments in the teaching of Science.

Other activities were the development of processes for production of clay stoves and coal briquettes from Maamba Coal slurries and bio-waste from sugar production at Nakambala Sugar Estate. The technical processes for making Clay Stoves, were transferred to communities under the activities of Technical Extension for Manufacture of Cookstove to Artisan (TEXCOMA) through training.

Head of Department

Chisha Chongo

Marine Science Research Center Water, Energy and Environment