HEAVY RAINS IN MOZAMBIQUE FAIL TO END CAPITAL’S WATER CRISIS

Heavy rains have fallen across virtually all of Mozambique over the past ten days, according to the National Meteorology Office (INAM), with the crucial exception of the far south, which is in desperate need of rain.

Figures announced here Wednesday at a meeting of the Disaster Management Technical Council (CTGD) showed that in the ten-day period most of the country received between 300 and 600 millimetres (mm) of rain.

There were torrential downpours in Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola on Sunday night and Monday morning but they did very little to improve the water supply crisis for the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area.

Maputo and Matola are dependent for drinking water on the reservoir at the Pequenos Libombos Dam on the Umbeluzi River, and the recent downpours have scarcely touched the upper Umbeluzi Valley in Namaacha district, and in neighboring Swaziland.

The surface of the reservoir should be at an elevation of 48 metres above sea level but is currently at only 33 metres above sea level. Recent rains have made a difference of just a few centimeters, according to Rute Nhamucho, of the National Directorate of Water Resources (DNRH)).

The reservoir remains just 13 per cent full, and is discharging water at the rate of two cubic metres a second. The normal rate would be at least three cubic metres a second.

The Maputo Regional Water Company (AdeM) has banned the use of Umbeluzi water for irrigation, construction and all purposes other than human consumption. It has also rationed supplies in Maputo and its twin city, Matola, and the district of Boane.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK