Mozambique: Water Shortages Worry Maputo Provincial Government

Maputo – Water shortages, caused by the drought hitting southern and central Mozambique, are seriously worrying the Maputo provincial government.

Speaking in the provincial capital, Matola, at the opening of a session of the Maputo Coordinating Council, the provincial governor, Raimundo Diomba said it is urgent to identify alternative sources to guarantee a continued supply of drinking water to the public.

“It’s no news to say that there’s been a lack of rainfall, but we cannot allow citizens to lose their lives because of water shortages”, said Diomba. He called on the government authorities and their partners to join efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought.

“The amount of water available is declining”, warned Diomba. “The Corumana dam (on the Sabie river) should produce electricity, but it cannot do so because the reservoir is only 39 per cent full. The question is – how do we overcome this problem?”

He urged all partners who are able to sponsor the opening of boreholes to do so, in order to meet the current requirements for drinking water for people and for their livestock.

“Food is necessary because people are hungry”, said the Governor. “The reserves have been exhausted. They have not been replaced because of the drought. And we need to seek local solutions before the arrival of support from non-local partners”.

A the meeting, some participants complained of the shady practices of the government’s Water Supply Investment and Assets Fund (FIPAG), which insists on sending invoices to houses where no water has flowed from the taps for months. Even where consumers have enjoyed water, sometimes they are over-invoiced, because FIPAG has not read the water meters.

A FIPAG representative claimed that meters are sometimes not read, because FIPAG staff are unable to gain access to the meters in some clients’ homes. Water shortages are also caused, he said, by illegal connections to water mains, and excessive use of water for irrigation and for construction jobs.

Diomba replied that the water supply authorities should not imagine that their work is over when they deliver invoices. Instead FIPAG should check to see whether water is reaching its clients or not.

Furthermore, clients should be informed that, if they use water for building jobs, they will have an expensive invoice at the end of the month. “The public, and not just the company, must understand how the invoices are drawn up”, he said.

source: All Africa