Mozambique: U.S. Grant for Water and Sanitation
Maputo — The United States government and the Mozambican Ministry of Public Works have signed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate the investment of more than 90 million dollars which the US is currently providing to strengthen and expand access to basic water and sanitation services.
According to a press release from the US embassy in Maputo, under this agreement, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry’s National Directorate of Water Services and Sanitation (DNAAS) “will collaborate on strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) governance and financing, improving management of water resources, and increasing sustainable access to and use of safe drinking water and sanitation systems throughout Mozambique”.
As a result, the embassy predicts, “more Mozambicans will have reliable access to safe water and sanitation systems that improve health, reduce extreme poverty, and make communities more resilient, especially after natural disasters such as a cyclone or drought”.
The Mozambican government has committed to universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services by 2030. The embassy release notes that, “while progress has been made, only half of Mozambicans have access to clean water supply and 29 percent use basic sanitation facilities, particularly in rural communities. This reality contributes to high rates of waterborne diseases such as malaria and cholera as well as chronically high rates of malnutrition”.
USAID says that through this partnership, it “will support the government efforts to provide more Mozambicans with safe, clean water and sanitation”.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the signing ceemony was virtual, rather than face to face. USAID Agriculture, Environment and Business Office Director Mary Hobbs represented the US Embassy at the ceremony, while the National Director of the DNAAS, Raúl Mutevuie, represented the Mozambican Government.
“USAID’s goal is to ensure that individuals, communities, and nations have the water they need to be healthy, prosperous, and resilient,” Hobbs said. “In Mozambique, USAID aims to achieve this through programs that promote greater use and sustainable management of WASH services, particularly by women and girls, and in line with the strategies of the Government of Mozambique.”