28 December 2012

Mozambique: Holland Finances Maputo Water Supply

Maputo — The Dutch government has pledged to disburse 23 million euros (30.4 million US dollars) to finance a project to boost the supply of clean drinking water to the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area, based on the Corumana dam on the Sabie river

The grant agreement for this project was signed in Maputo on Friday by Finance Minister Manuel Chang, and by Dutch ambassador Frederique de Man.

Under the project, a mains pipe will be built from Corumana to Maputo, with connections to the towns of Moamba and Pessene. There will be four new distribution centres to serve the population in the north of Maputo, a distribution network with a total length of 192 kilometres, and 20,000 new home connections.

Currently the cities of Maputo and Matola and the adjacent areas rely on the Umbeluzi river for their water supply. But the system based on the Umbeluzi treatment station is no longer sufficient to meet the growing demand for water,

Chang told the signing ceremony that the project to bring water from the Corumana reservoir to Maputo will cost a total of 146 million euros, shared between the Mozambican state budget and the country’s cooperating partners.

The Dutch grant, he added, “symbolizes the joint commitment of the Mozambican and Dutch governments to create better living conditions and promote sustainable development in our country”.

“Access to water is a key factor, of vital importance for promoting human development”, Chang said. “The government’s strategic objective is to increase access to clean drinking water in the urban areas to 70 per cent of the population by 2014”.

The estimated population of the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area is over two million. Chang said that recent improvement in the water supply system could not cover the entire metropolitan area. “Challenges remain in terms of servicing the areas in the north of these municipalities, which require complementary solutions” – hence the decision to bring water to Maputo from Corumana.

For her part, Frederique de Man said the grant reflects Holland’s commitment to support major projects needed to bring water to communities in both cities and in rural areas.

The Dutch government had earlier contributed 18.6 million euros to the expansion of the Umbeluzi system, a project which increased the number of people benefitting from this system from 670,000 to 1.5 million.

A further Dutch grant of 43 million was spent on improving the water supply to the central municipalities of Chimoio, Manica Town and Gondola, providing 200,000 consumers with access to safe water.

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