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FILE PHOTO - Pequenos Libombos dam, on January 12 2022. ]File photo: Governor of Maputo Province Julio Parruque on Facebook]
The Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area will not face water shortages within the next five years, since the reservoir behind the Pequenos Libombos dam (BPL), in Boane district, is over 80 per cent full, according to a report on Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.
The BPL Managing Director, Jaime Timba, said that, since February 2021, the reservoir has been above 80 per cent of its capacity, after a prolonged drought which lasted seven years. During the drought, water storage dropped to its lowest level recorded of 13 per cent. This not only affected water supply to greater Maputo, but also halted energy production.
“The reservoir is now at over 80 per cent of its capacity. That enables us to say that we have enough water for a wide range of purposes which include providing drinking water and water for irrigated agriculture, for the next five years. Even if it does not rain or no water flows into the dam, there will be no concern throughout this time,” Timba said.
Timba noted that BPL is regularly blamed for any water supply crisis in Greater Maputo. But he argued that the real problem lies with the Umbeluzi Water Treatment Plant (ETA) which has no capacity to treat the necessary quantities to supply the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area.
“When there is too much water, ETA cannot treat all that water, as the plant has no capacity to deal with large quantities. The other constraint is when we increase the discharges from the dam. Then the water comes with too much mud, causing clouding. This makes the process lengthy,” he said.
Despite the recent ETA rehabilitation, its capacity is not yet enough to ensure water supply for the fast growing population of the Greater Maputo area. Timba said the ETA should increase its treatment capacity to meet the demand, as sufficient water is available for at least the next five years.