September 21, 2006

Constraints on water supply in Maputo province / Mozambique to have bank to support agriculture

Late and irregular disbursement of funds, combined with the high cost of the geophysical studies and the poor quality of the manual water pumps available on the national market, are the main constraints on implementing the water supply programme in the southern Mozambican province of Maputo. A document presented during a session of the Maputo provincial government, pointed out that despite such constraints, the coverage, in terms of access to clean drinking water, is estimated at 72 per cent of the population, which is about the target fixed in the National Water Policy.
Maputo province has a variety of hydrological characteristics in different regions, which determines different levels of accessibility to drinking water. To deal with the shortage of drinking water in the province, work is underway to rehabilitate 48 wells in the districts of Moamba, Matutuine, Boane, Magude, Manhica, Marracuene, and Matola. "The physical work will be preceded by social activities to revive or create Water Committees in every beneficiary community", reads the document. The same report adds that other programmes are under preparation to set up small water supply systems in the various districts of the province.
In the meantime, Mozambique has drawn closer to the creation of a specialized bank to support agriculture after the Netherlands government had agreed to help fund the still unnamed bank with a 1 million donation, officials have announced. The new bank results from lengthy negotiations that began in 2002. A commission to oversee the setting up of the new bank has also been set up consisting of representatives from the Mozambican and Dutch government, as well as Gapi, Rabobank and Novib - one of the main development agencies in the Netherlands.
Some of the characteristics of the new bank were decided at a meeting August in Oslo, such as its shareholder structure. Rabobank will have a 30.7 percent stake in the venture, in partnership with three other shareholders: Gapi (29.3 percent) and German development bank KfW and Norfund of Norway, both with a 20 percent stake. However, Souto said he hoped Mozambican investors will gradually acquire a majority shareholding in the new bank over the next 10 years. It is expected that the bank will be launched mid-2007 and will established nationwide five years later, he added. The bank’s start-up equity will be US$ 7 million, which will later increase to US$ 10 million. (macauhub, PR China / Agencia de Informaciao der Mocambique, Maputo)

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