Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated the Gorongosa dam, on the Nhandare river in the central province of Sofala.
The dam can store 300,000 cubic metres of water, and will allow water coverage in Gorongosa district to rise from 38 to 53.7 per cent of the population. The dam cost 327 million meticais (about 5.2 million US dollars, at current exchange rates).
Addressing the crowd who attended the inauguration ceremony, Nyusi said the dam, in addition to flood control and its hydroelectric potential, will bring enormous benefits for the Gorongosa population and for the local economy.
"Gorongosa needed added water storage capacity ", he said. "And so, in light of our national water resource plan, we mobilised resources to pay for the construction of the dam".
He added that the availability of water in the reservoir would allow a local fishery to flourish, contributing to food security, employment and income.
Nyusi pledged that the government will continue to mobilise funds to build more water facilities across the country to complement the investments already guaranteed through the "Water for Life" Programme (PRAVIDA).
The Gorongosa dam, he added, would also make water available for irrigation, adding to Gorongosa district's potential as the breadbasket of Sofala. "With the dam and the availability of water, we are launching the challenge to boost the value chains of cotton, oilseeds, vegetables, grain and livestock", Nyusi stressed.
He urged the Gorongosa local government, the public and the water management bodies to ensure the sustainability of the dam and its durability, in order to honour the investment made.
"This dam cost money, and it would be an enormous waste if, in a little while, we were to be asked to make more money available to rehabilitate it", said the President.
While in Sofala, Nyusi also inaugurated new water supply systems in Cheringoma and Maringue districts.
The system in Inhaminga, the Cheringoma district capital, gives 25,000 people access to clean drinking water. The system consists of six tanks with a storage capacity of 1,600 cubic metres, which can supply the population of Inhaminga with water for 24 hours a day. A distribution network running for 57 kilometres, and ten standpipes were also installed
Work on this system took two years and cost about 123 million meticais (1.94 million US dollars). It was financed by the government and its partners under the PRAVIDA programme.
The previous water supply system in Inhaminga had been paralysed for the past 20 years, obliging the people of the town to walk long distances to obtain water.
The Maringue system cost about 67 million meticais. It consists of four boreholes and two pumps, plus tanks that can store 270 cubic metres of water. The new system should improve the lives of 19,000 Maringue residents.