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Folha de Maputo / The areas painted in blue on the chart refer to the days when water will flow out of the taps of residents.
The Maputo Regional Water Company (AdeM) has announced drastic restrictions in the water supply to the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area (Maputo and Matola cities, and Boane district) as from Tuesday.
There is simply not enough water in the Umbeluzi river and the reservoir at the Pequenos Libombos dam to continue normal supplies to Maputo. AdeM has therefore announced that water will only be pumped to Maputo, Matola and Boane on alternate days.
“Top priority” will be given to water for human consumption, said the AdeM statement. The company promised to indicate specific points where building companies can send tanker trucks to pick up water for construction purposes.
The Greater Maputo water supply system consists of the treatment and pumping station on the Umbeluzi, seven distribution centres (at Boane, Belo Horizonte, Matola Rio, Matola, Machava. Tsalala, Chamanculo, Alto Mae, Maxaqene and Laulane), and around 3,000 kilometres of water pipes. The system distributes about 240,000 cubic metres of water a day.
Consumers in the modern parts of the cities, who store water in tanks on their roofs, may not be badly hit, since the tanks could well hold enough water for two days’ use. But people living in outlying neighbourhoods, who depend on standpipes, could face serious water shortages.
The AdeM statement said nothing about the requirements of water guzzling industries, such as the producers of beer and soft drinks.
Although it has rained heavily in parts of southern Mozambique in recent weeks, the level of the Pequenos Libombos reservoir, the main source of water for the Umbeluzi pumping station, remains very low. Last Thursday the reservoir was only 14 per cent full.
Saving the situation will depend on rainfall upstream, particularly in Swaziland. Without heavy rain in the near future, the severe restrictions on the Maputo water supply could continue for weeks, or even months.
The government has already banned the use of Umbeluzi water for the banana plantations and other commercial, irrigated agricultural companies that usually depend on the Umbeluzi. The southern regional water board (ARA-Sul) has issued television warnings urging consumers not to waste water through such unnecessary activities as washing cars or watering lawns.Source: AIM