MIND THE GAP… It is commonly known that investments in water supply and sanitation are mostly mobilized either for rural villages (handpumps/latrines) or cities (large piped networks). The GAP is in SMALL TOWNS. Mozambique has more than 120 small towns with dilapidated infrastructure built by the Portuguese colonialists in the 1950s and 1960s. The infrastructure was designed to serve a population of less than 1000 and many of these towns now have a population of more than 20,000.
In a recent field mission to Nampula Province, the Government of Mozambique department responsible for small towns (AIAS) and UNICEF engineers visited 5 small towns that are receiving significant investments from the Government of Australia (AusAID) under the banner of the programme – NAMWASH.
NAMWASH has the objective of ensuring that 150,000 people in 5 small towns gain access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation. The model of implementation is based on a Delegated Framework where the operation and maintenance of the water supply is done by an independent operator which is then regulated by CRA (Water Regulator of Mozambique). The model will be tested in phase 1 of the project in Ribaue town in Nampula.
This work is essential as Mozambique is experiencing a boom in investment from the extractive industries and overnight ports, railways and roads are being developed and rehabilitated to facilitate the movement and export of goods. Towns along these railways and roads are expanding with ever increasing migrant labour coming into Mozambique from neighboring countries.
CLOSE THE GAP – projects such as NAMWASH need to be used as catalysts for future investments