Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated a new water system in the town of Chibuto, in the southern province of Gaza, which can provide 57,000 people with clean drinking water 24 hours a day.
The previous system only reached about 18,000 people. The water storage capacity was low and the quality of the water pumped was poor.
The new system cost around 112,000 US dollars. Work began in January and took about nine months to complete. A new pumping and treatment station was built, a distribution centre and an elevated reservoir that can hold 1,150 cubic metres of water.
Piping running for a total of 143 kilometres was installed, and the manager of the new system must now provide some 2,000 home connections.
Nyusi declared that the rehabilitation and expansion of the Chibuto system is part of implementation of the government's "Water for Life" programme (PRAVIDA), and reflects the government's commitment to respond to the growing demand for water and sanitation services across the country
He recognised that there is still a long path to travel before all the country's water supply needs are met - but the target remains to ensure that every Mozambican citizen has access to good quality drinking water.
Nyusi urged the residents of Chibuto to make rational use of their water, and ensure that the system is sustainable. Every effort should be made to avoid clandestine connections to the system, he said, and to prevent sabotage of the pipes (this happens, for example, when criminals steal sections of piping and sell them to scrap metal merchants).
When the system develops leaks, and water is lost, the problems should be remedied at once, he declared.
The operator of the new system, Nyusi added, should manage the system "with great knowledge and responsibility" to guarantee its conservation. In particular, the operator should ensure that the chemicals used to treat the water are always available in sufficient amounts. The management of the system, he insisted, should correspond to the investment made.
The management is in the hands of the government's Water Supply and Assets Investment Fund (FIPAG).