Maputo — Mozambique's Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, on Thursday laid the first stone laid the first stone in a project to rehabilitate the water supply system in Mocuba, the second largest city in the central province of Zambezia.
The project is budgeted at 265 million meticais (about 4.3 million US dollars). The initial stage of the project, regarded as an emergency phase, will last 14 months and provide clean drinking water for 65,000 people (out of the 220,000 inhabitants of Mocuba).
According to Machatine, cited by the independent television station, STV, the work consists of building a new station to collect water from the Lugela river, downstream from the current facility, measures to avoid erosion and the silting up of the river bed, and the construction of about 900 metres of a new mains water pipe.
He added that the water treatment station will be rehabilitated, and equipment installed to add purification chemicals in automatic doses. Electrical and electromechanical equipment, including generators, will also be installed, and 25 kilometres of distribution network will be built.
Machatine stressed the government has been doing all in its power to mobilise the investments necessary for the Mocuba water system. The existing water impoundment system was severely damaged in the floods on the Licungo rover in 2015.
World Bank representative Michael Matera told the ceremony that the suffering faced by Mocuba residents in fetching water had led the Bank to support "resilient reconstruction of the system".
It was part of the Bank's mission, Matera said, "to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity".
People living in Mocuba have faced serious difficulties in access to water. Many residents have drawn their water directly from the Licungo river, even though it is infested with crocodiles. This year at least ten people in Mocuba have fallen victim to crocodiles.