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Magazine Independente / FIPAG in Beira Magazine Independente
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday inaugurated a new water distribution centre at Inhamizua, in the central city of Beira, budgeted at around 231 million meticais (about 3.4 million US dollars, at current exchange rates), disbursed by the government in partnership with the World Bank.
The distribution centre is part of a large scale investment programme to improve and expand the Beira water supply system. It will benefit an estimated 18,759 people living in the neighbourhoods of Inhamizua, Nazare, Chamba and Motel Bispo.
According to data from the government’s Water Supply Assets and Investments Fund (FIPAG), initially the job was financed by the World Bank to the tune of 152 million meticais, and was entrusted to the company Ceinsa Contratos e Ingeniera, SA, of Spain in May 2014.
But the poor performance of this contractor led to delays and the credit agreement for the project ended in October 2015. The contract and the bank guarantees came to an abrupt stop, resulting in paralysis of work on the distribution centre. By then 80 per cent of the job had been done, and 121 million meticais had been disbursed.
A new tender was launched and 109 million meticais from the Mozambican state budget was used to complete the job.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nyusi said the distribution centre was built to meet in full the water supply needs of that part of the city. “It will overcome the problem of the shortage of drinking water in Inhamizua and the surrounding areas”, he added. “We shall not tire of making efforts to overcome the difficulties that the people present to us”.
“Let us use water in a rational manner to reduce costs”, urged Nyusi. “Water is a determinant requirement for development. This is one of the great gains of the Mozambican people”.
He added that he hopes to return to Sofala province later this year to inaugurate a dam in Gorongosa district that will be used both for water supply and for generating power, allowing the electrification of the Vunduzi administrative post.
President visits flooded neighbourhoods
On Friday, Nyusi also visited the Muabve area, in the neighbourhood of Manga-Mascarenhas, which had been severely affected by the Beira floods of 26-28 February, in order to express his solidarity with the victims.
He urged the residents of Muabve to accept their transfer to safer areas, and that when they build in the resettlement area, they should ensure that they houses do not obstruct the drainage of storm waters.
Nyusi stressed that nobody should be resigned to suffering just because they want to stay in the places where they were born and grew up, but which are no longer fit for human habitation. “We have to accept change in order to improve our lives”, he insisted.
He urged his audience to use mosquito nets to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, and to purify water before drinking it in order to prevent diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera.
The Mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, said the torrential rains of late February coincided with an exceptionally high tide, so that the recently inaugurated floodgates of the Chiveve channel could not be fully used to channel the storm waters to the sea. The situation improved once the level of the sea had dropped, but by then at least one child had drowned, and several houses built of flimsy materials had collapsed.
Simango recognizes that Beira Municipal Council must build more drainage channels, to prevent future flooding – but this is difficult, given that much of Beira was built below sea level. There are two existing drainage channels – those of Palmeiras and of Munhava-Matope – that have yet to be rehabilitated, he said.
“The storm water drainage system is extremely complex and expensive, and the water can only be drained when the tide is low”, said Simango. “The sewage system is also expensive, and it was built in the 1960s”.Source: AIM
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