Maputo — Mozambique's Deputy Minister of Public Works, Cecilia Chamutota, on Monday inaugurated a new water supply system in the town of Milange, in the central province of Zambezia, which can supply safe drinking water to 60,000 people.
According to a report in Tuesday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais", the new system cost over 200 million meticais (around three million US dollars), and is part of the government's "Water for Life" (Pravida) programme. It includes a water treatment station, a distribution centre, a power line, and a distribution network with 26 kilometres of pipes.
The current capacity is to supply 60,000 people, but future phases of the system can expand this to 97,000 by 2035.
"We have already established 450 home connections and have built eight public standpipes", said Chamutota. "When some of our partners withdrew their support for the state budget, which affected development programmes, particularly for water infrastructure, we had to launch a challenge to prevent our people from being deprived of access to water, so we designed the Pravida programme. This is a presidential initiative with funding from the Mozambican state to benefit 1.7 million people throughout the country".
Chamutota was referring to the decision in 2016 of the 14 donors who used to provide direct support to the state budget to suspend all further disbursement in the wake of the scandal of Mozambique's "hidden debts".
She stressed that the new system will provide the safe water needed for individual and collective hygiene, more important than ever in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Secretary of State for Zambezia, Judite Mussacula, said that in rural Zambezia the government plans to build 371 new water sources and rehabilitate 347 existing ones in the 2020-2024 five year period.
She hoped that, with these interventions, clean water coverage in Zambezia will rise from the current 54.6 per cent to 59.2 per cent of the population.
Under Pravida, water supply systems have already been installed in the Zambezia districts of Maganja da Costa, Alto-Molocue, Gurue, Mocuba, Ile and Namarroi.