12 February 2018

Mozambique: Making Clean Water and Decent Toilets Normal

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

A weak economy means many people lack clean water and toilets. But things are looking up...

On the shores of the Indian Ocean, tropical Mozambique is home to 28 million people from a variety of ethnic and ancestral groups.

The economy here has been too weak to sustain public services like clean water and toilets. But things are looking up. The Government is exploring the potential for trading the country's natural resources. And it has begun to tackle the corruption holding it back.

Over half of the country lives without clean water, and three in four people have no decent toilet. Dangerous diarrhoeal diseases are common. High levels of poverty make building and maintaining services difficult. And the Government needs support to make its commitments and plans a reality.

We help the poorest people across Mozambique to understand and claim their rights to services. And we give training and share our experience with local government and businesses to build systems that last. Together, we will make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone.

In the village of Namarika, diarrhoea used to be a life-threatening problem. It was normal for 20 people in the community to die from it in a year.

Juliana Mwemedi, 45, has had eight children, but Luisa, Esperanza, and Vinisto did not survive. They died from diarrhoea before they were three years old.

“In the past, we had to travel a long way for water and it was dirty,” she explained. “There were insects in it and during the dry season we had to queue.”

In 2012, we installed a pump with our local partner that now serves more than 800 households. We also built 60 toilets and raised awareness of hygiene in the community.

“There is not much diarrhoea anymore,” says Juliana. “My daughter now lives near the water point, so she can always be clean."

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