Maputo — The French government has granted 6.2 million euros (about seven million US dollars) to improve the availability of clean water in the southern Mozambican municipalities of Maputo, Matola and Boane.
The agreement was signed in Maputo on Monday by the general director of the Mozambican government's Water Supply Investments and Assets Fund (FIPAG), Pedro Paulino, and the Mozambique country director of the French Development Agency (AFD), Julien Darpeaux. Witnessing the ceremony were the Deputy Minister of Public Works, Victor Tuacale, and French ambassador Bruno Clerc.
The project seeks to exploit sources of ground water in the Greater Maputo area. It will equip 16 boreholes, build a pumping station and lay pipes to carry water to the reservoirs. The project, due to conclude in 2020, should make over 40,000 cubic metres of water a day available, serving an estimated 348,100 people,
Speaking immediately after the signing ceremony, Tuacale said the French support would improve the availability of water, notably in the Maputo neighbourhoods of Albasine, Costa do Sol, 3rd February, Ferroviário, FPLM, Hulene, Laulane, Magoanine, Mavalane, Maxaquene and Polana-Caniço.
"With this friendly gesture from France the country has been increasing the number of home connections, the number of people with access to clean drinking water, and the water production, distribution and storage capacity", he said.
Tuacale stressed the "strategic support" given by AFD in water supply and sanitation, pointing, as examples, to the recent construction of 16 small water supply systems in Maputo and Matola, the rehabilitation of a section of the water treatment station on the Umbeluzi river, of the Matola water distribution centre, and of the tertiary network of water pipes in Matola, and in several Maputo neighbourhoods.
"This means an improvement in the health conditions and the quality of life of the people covered", said Tuacale.
Clerc said he hoped that exploiting ground water will improve the quality and the continual supply of drinking water.
He added that the project will also include a programme for the reduction of water losses by the Maputo Regional Water Company. "The impacts expected from this emergency project will be significant", he stressed.
Currently Maputo City consumes over 120,000 cubic metres of water a day.