5 July 2017

Mozambique: Water Restrictions in Maputo Lifted

Photo: Mário Macilau/WaterAid
Ajida, 14, walks home after collecting water in Mococorene, Nampula province.

Maputo — The restrictions on the supply of water to the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area, imposed in January, have been lifted.

Speaking to a session of the Maputo City government on Tuesday, Jose Barata, the technical director of the Maputo Regional Water Company (AdM), said that enough rain had fallen earlier in the year to allow AdeM to resume normal supplies of water.

The water supply for Maputo, the neighbouring city of Matola, and Boane district comes from the pumping and treatment station on the Umbeluzi river. The river is fed by the reservoir behind the Pequenos Libombos dam, and this fell to around 13 per cent of its capacity in early January.

To avoid running completely out of water, AdeM imposed a system whereby water was pumped to each neighbourhood in Maputo, Matola and Boane only every other day.

Barata, cited in Wednesday's issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, said the situation on the Umbeluzi had improved enough to lift the pumping restriction. Now all areas covered by AdeM are receiving water for an average of eight hours a day (which is somewhat less than in previous periods).

Barata reported that attempts had been made to solve the water crisis by opening more boreholes to draw on water in Maputo aquifers. However, two boreholes drilled in downtown Maputo did not produce the results hoped for.

“Productivity was very low”, said Barata, “and as we continued drilling, we found a high level of salinity”.

AdeM has not given up. Barata said the company is looking for new places to open boreholes, and one is currently being opened in the outer Mauto neighbourhood of Laulane.

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