Water supply management to be privatised in six more towns

The Mozambican government is considering to privatise the management of the water supply services in six more towns, Public Works and Housing Minister Roberto White told reporters on Friday, August 29. Speaking during an International Seminar on the Participation of the Private Sector in the management of the water supply, that is taking place in Maputo, White said that "we are considering to expand the delegated management of the water supply systems to six more towns".

So far, the management of these services has been trusted to private operators in Maputo, in the south, Beira and Quelimane, the capitals of the central Sofala and Zambezia, and Nampula, and Pemba, the capitals of the northern Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces, respectively. The government believes that privatising the management of these services, it will be able to serve more people, with a better quality and at prices affordable to the poor.

White said that only about 32 per cent of the population in the urban areas and 35 per cent in the rural areas are currently benefiting of clean drinking water, and the government is committed to increase these figures in the next few years, by privatising the management of the water supply systems. "The government is endeavouring to ensure that these objectives are attained quickly, because the priority is to provide clean drinking water to as much people as possible", he said. He explained that "we are now negotiating the possibility of including six more towns. For that end, we are prepared to invest about 30 million US dollars", he said.

In several Southern African countries the privatisation of water led to serious problems. In June this year, it was reported that in Lesotho the Water and Sewage Authority will hand over (or close) public standpipes to the communities and implement new water charges. In many countries after the privatisation the prices for water were raised and the access to water was closed for those who can not afford the new prices. (AIM, Maputo)


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