Helping Mozambique cities build resilience to climate change
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday encouraged Holland to continue supporting Mozambique in the search for appropriate solutions to water management.
Speaking in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding for further Dutch support for Mozambique’s three regional water boards, and for the government’s Water Supply Assets and Investment Fund (FIPAG), Nyusi said the experience of Holland can be determinant for how human beings can manage water.
The ceremony took place in the independent Institute for Applied Water Research (Deltares), where Nyusi declared “here it is possible to find the solution to the problem facing Mozambicans”.
He said there are occasions “when Mozambican citizens feel worried when they hear the word ‘water’. Normally, water is a synonym for life and happiness, but for our people it can be a reason for concern in some cases, since there may be a shortage or an excess of water”.
He cited, as examples, the current restrictions on water supply in Maputo and the neighboring city of Matola because there is not enough water in the Umbeluzi river for normal supplies to the pumping and treatment station. There was a shortage of water for the western city of Tete, and there were serious sanitation problems in Beira because parts of the city are below sea level. Deaths have occurred in Mozambique because of both floods and drought, he added.
“We have rivers that do not run dry, but instead of the water being conserved and managed, it kills, it ruins fields and it destroys infrastructure”, Nyusi said. “This is water that should be used in times of drought to irrigate fields and produce energy”. He suggested that Deltares could make a contribution towards solving this problem.
He encouraged Mozambique’s municipal governments to follow the example set by Beira in seeking solutions to their water problems, and pledged support from the central government.
The mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, who is also leader of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), is a member of Nyusi’s delegation to Holland.
About four million Dutch citizens live in places which, like much of Beira, are below sea level. But, thanks to the use of technologies such as those developed at Deltares, water is no longer a threat to their lives, but has become a key factor in socio-economic development.
Simango told reporters that Holland has the experience that Beira needs. “President Nyusi’s visit helps us in the search for solutions to Mozambique’s water management problems”.
One of the measures in hand, he said, is dredging the access channel to Beira port, and making use of the dredged material for embankments and coastal protection.
Also on Thursday, Nyusi witnessed the signing of a declaration of intent on a programme of the Netherlands Universities’ Foundation for International Cooperation, intended to strengthen the capacity of Mozambican universities to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
Several agreements on maritime matters were also signed, including a memorandum of understanding on maritime cooperation; a declaration of intent on technical assistance in designing a commercial port in Palma (the district in the far north of the country, where vast deposits of natural gas have been discovered offshore); and an agreement on studies for improving the access channels and managing the facilities of the tertiary ports of Angoche and Mocimboa da Praia.Source: AIM
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