Mozambique needs more than four billion US dollars in order to guarantee water supply and decent sanitation for the 35 million people expected to be living in the country by 2029, says Public Works Minister Carlos Bonete.

He was speaking at a meeting with his Ministry’s co-operation partners at which he presented Mozambique’s vision for attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The 17 SDGs, with 169 targets, were approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, and set a development agenda for a 15-year period, from 2015 to 2030.

The key SDG for Bonete’s Ministry is the sixth goal, which is “to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. This means achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, and access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation.

Last Thursday’s meeting was held to discuss how to mobilize the funds needed to achieve these targets in Mozambique.

Bonete said that currently, 50 per cent of the Mozambican population had access to safe drinking water, but only a third of the population was covered by decent sanitation. Achieving full coverage by 2030, the cut-off date for the SDGs, is thus an enormous challenge and one that Mozambique cannot achieve on its own.

“We are aware that what it has been possible to achieve so far was thanks to the aid from our co-operation partners,” said Bonete.