25 April 2018

Mozambique: Government Ends Maputo Water Restrictions

Maputo — The Mozambican government on Tuesday announced the end of the water restrictions previously in force in the Greater Maputo area.

Under those restrictions, water was pumped to each neighbourhood in Maputo and Matola cities and in the town of Boane every other day, because of the critically low level of the reservoir behind the Pequenos Libombos dam on which Maputo depends. About 1.1 million consumers were affected by the restrictions.

The system of pumping water to areas on alternate days was first adopted in January 2017. Later in the year it was suspended, but supplies did not return to normal. Instead there was a general cut in water supply of 20 per cent, and a ban on using any water from the Umbeluzi river for irrigation.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), the government spokesperson, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana, announced that the situation has improved enough to allow water to be pumped for eight hours a day to all parts of Maputo, Matola and Boane.

The Pequenos Libombos reservoir is currently 29.74 per cent full, Comoana said. In early February, it had been less than 20 per cent full. The water supply, she added, “still needs rational and careful management”.

She praised the citizens of Greater Maputo for complying with the restrictions, and urging them to continue using water sparingly.

It had been feared that the water restrictions would continue until the start of the 2018/2019 rainy season in October. However, heavy rainfall in Maputo province in March and early April saw a recovery in the levels of the reservoir.

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