Clean water for almost 60 per cent of rural dwellers

Almost 60 per cent of Mozambique’s rural population now has access to clean drinking water, the Minister of Public Works, Cadmiel Muthemba, told the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday.

Answering questions from deputies on water supply, he said that coverage in the rural area had gone up from a mere 15 per cent of the population in 1997 to 58.6 per cent this year.

A National Water and Rural Sanitation Programme (PRONASAR) is now under way, with a common fund into which donors deposit money for rural water supply. “With this programme, 12,000 scattered water sources and 120 small water supply systems will be built throughout the country by 2015, serving more than 4.5 million people”, said Muthemba. “400,000 improved latrines will be built to benefit over two million people”.

The plans for 2011, he added, were to build 1,866 new water sources, and rehabilitate 842. 1.35 million people would benefit from these 2,708 sources.

The full figures are not yet available, but by the end of the third quarter of this year 992 sources had been built and 472 rehabilitated, benefitting 732,000 people. That leaves the government with just three months to build or rehabilitate the remaining 1,244 sources.

Improvements to the urban water supply have ensured that clean water now reaches 65 per cent of the residents of Mozambican cities and towns, Muthemba added. The rehabilitation and expansion of the water system for Maputo and Matola cities and the adjacent town of Boane have been completed. The system now serves over 830,000 people.

A further 80,000 people now obtain their water from 16 small scale water systems set up in the Maputo and Matola peri-urban neighbourhoods and managed by private businesses.

As for sanitation, the rehabilitation of the Beira sanitation system has been concluded, said the minister, and the sewage network and the elevation and pumping stations have all been handed over to Beira Municipal Council. 120,000 people will be served directly by the new sewer system.

Post published in: Africa News

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