The government of Mozambique is set to receive US $58m from Holland and the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) which will be used for institutional capacity building at the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Administration (AIAS) and to improve municipal sanitation services. The Ministry of Public Works, the Maputo Municipality, and representatives of the Dutch government and of AICS signed the two agreements covering these areas in Maputo.
According to the Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, there could not have been a better way to mark World Water Day. “The agreement we signed with Holland is intended to build capacity for AIAS, and to support the operators of water supply systems, whereas the one signed with Maputo Municipality is intended to improve the municipal sanitation services, based on performance,” he said.
He further added that the government is committed to reaching a 90% clean water supply coverage in urban areas and 70% in the rural areas by 2024; under the Action Plan designed for the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It also envisages an increase to 80% of sanitation services in the urban areas and 55% in the rural areas.
Water and Sanitation programmes in Mozambique
“In Mozambique, over 64% of the population still has no access to drinking water. That is why women and girls, mostly in the rural areas. spend more than 30 minutes in a single trip to fetch water,” said the minister.
“Despite the challenging situation, over the last few years Mozambique has made tremendous efforts to reverse the current scenario, through the promotion of better access to water, sanitation and hygiene,” he added.
The minister further mentioned that the government acknowledges the importance of water supply and adequate sanitation to the reduction of infant mortality and of contagious diseases, to gender equality, and to ensuring the presence of children at schools.
“In order to complement these actions and boost water access programmes, the government adopted the “Water for Life Programme” (PRAVIDA) in 2018. This is now underway across the country and has made a meaningful impact on the lives of many Mozambicans,” he said.
Under the programme, 29 water storage dams and eight reservoirs; 60 water supply systems; 80 scattered boreholes and over 24,000 connections have been carried out. Pravida has benefitted over one million people with safe water supply infrastructure and sanitation. The achievement has raised water supply coverage in 2020 to 62% compared to 55% in 2018. Sanitation coverage reached 40% compared to 36.9% in the same period.