Water crisis in Mozambique as major reservoir drops in water levels

Water crisis in Mozambique as major reservoir drops in water levels
A river in Mozambique. Shortage of water is set to hit Maputo

Mozambique:Water supply in the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area (Boane district, Maputo and Matola cities) is set to experience a drastic restriction as from the 10th of January 2017,  Maputo Regional Water Company in Mozambique has announced. The residents in these cities will be subjected to a water rationing program.

The Maputo Regional Water Company (AdeM) announced these restrictions following a drop in the water levels of Umbeluzi River and the water reservoir at the Pequenos Libombos dam. The Great Maputo water supply system consists of the Umbeluzi treatment and pumping station, nine distribution centers; Machava, Matola, Matola Rio, Belo Horizonte, Bopane, Tsalala, Chamanculo, Laulane, Alto Mae and Maxaqene and about 3,000km of water pipes.

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 On a normal basis, the system distributes 240,000m3 daily. In the statement, AdeM emphasizes that priority will be given to human consumption needs.

There is inadequate water in the reservoir and river to sustain the water demands for Maputo. Water will therefore be pumped on alternate days to Boane, Maputo and Matola. The reservoir is only 14% full despite the heavy rains that were experienced in different parts of southern Mozambique in the past week.

Also read:Mozambique unveils mega water distribution centre in Matola

Residents located in the modern parts of the affected cities that are able to store water tanks may not be as deeply affected as those in the outlying neighborhoods that largely depend on the standpipes as they are set to face a serious water shortage crisis. The severe restrictions are expected to last for as long as the rainfall levels remain low.

This comes a huge blow especially for businesses that depend on the Umbeluzi water for their commercial activities such as banana plantations and agricultural companies as the government has already banned the use of water coming from Umbeluzi.

The situation is however expected to improve with expected rains in the coming weeks especially in Swaziland.

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