WaterAid begain working in Mozambique in 1995 with the aim of improving the lives of poor people through the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.
Despite being a fertile country and remaining politically stable since 1992, extreme poverty is widespread throughout most of Mozambique.
An unsafe water source in Mozambique.
Credit: WaterAid / Jon Spaull
Life expectancy is low, child mortality is high and the government estimates that that over half of the population does not have access to safe drinking water. Add little, if any, adequate sanitation across much of the country, and preventable water-related illnesses become killers. Diarrhea alone causes around 10% of deaths in children under the age of five.
To date, WaterAid has helped more than 270,000 people in Mozambique gain access to safe water. Our work is focused on working with government departments to implement the national water policy in a way that ensures the poorest people benefit from affordable and long lasting projects.
Achievements to date
- Helped more than 270,000 people gain access to safe water
- Introduced the rope pump to poor rural areas providing a cheap and easily-maintained water supply system
- Achieved 100% sanitation coverage in the urban area of Urbanização in the capital city Maputo
WaterAid in Mozambique
Manuel Oragy putting ash and soil down his composting latrine.
Credit: WaterAid / Jon Spaull
WaterAid began working in the northern province of Niassa in 1995. Our efforts focused on strengthening district-based government departments and local non governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with local communities to implement water, hygiene and sanitation projects.
Using the experience learned here, WaterAid has been in a partnership with UNICEF since 2002 to act as the technical advisor to a large-scale integrated water, sanitation and hygiene education program in the neighboring Zambézia province.
The provinces of Niassa and Zambézia are two of Mozambique's poorest. Because people in these areas live in extreme poverty, hundreds of miles from the nearest town, they need easily-maintained technology to supply clean water. Since 2003 WaterAid has been piloting the use of simple rope pumps.
If the pump breaks, rope is available locally and cheap enough for communities to afford. This means they do not have to revert to collecting water from unhygienic sources such as unprotected wells, swamps or rivers.
Another WaterAid-promoted technology is the composting latrine where human waste is mixed with soil and ash. Agricultural trials in the Niassa province have shown that compost from these latrines hugely boosts yields of maize crops and fruit trees, both vital to the local economy.
Since 2003 WaterAid has been active in the urban areas of the capital Maputo and more recently Quelimane. We are working with the Municipal Government in Maputo in five bairros - unplanned city neighborhoods - outside the main city water supply network and two bairros inside the network to achieve 100% coverage in water and sanitation. To date this has been achieved in one bairro, Urbanização, with water supplies improved in another, Aeroporto.Download WaterAid's Mozambique information sheet (PDF 319KB)
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