An investigation has been made of the impacts of neoliberal reforms on water and sanitation development in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Drawing inspiration from the sub-discipline of post-colonial geography, the paper begins by locating the foundations of water inequalities in the early urban planning policies of British colonialism. The paper goes on to make a critical analysis of the recently adopted water commercialization policy in relation to the historically embedded water inequality. Whilst prompting greater water conservation, commercialization is shown to lead to continued water and sanitation poverty and a widening gulf in the quality of water services between the minority water-rich and majority water-poor populations. It is concluded that in order to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation, policy makers require a more sophisticated consideration of the spatially inscribed material inequalities that characterize many former European colonies in Africa.