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Minister João Osvaldo Machatine. File photo: TVM
The Mozambican government hopes to renegotiate river-sharing agreements with neighbouring countries so as to increase water supply, Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources João Machatine has said.
“Mozambique is considering revisiting river basin sharing agreements with neighbouring countries, so as to make them more flexible regarding the volumes of water available in the event of an excess [of water] upstream or a [water] crisis in the national territory,” Machatine said.
Any new regulatory framework on water sharing would provide for countries with sufficient water supplying partners in crisis. The minister has recently drawn up an understanding with the kingdom of eSwatíni (former Swaziland), an example of a flexible collaboration in the sharing of rivers.
Under this agreement, eSwatíni last Thursday will provide 18 million cubic metres to Maputo province from its Umbeluzi dam by the end of this month..
“The kingdom of eSwatíni has started to discharge seven cubic metres of water per second which will, after 30 days, allow the Pequenos Libombos dam [in Mozambique] to have an additional 18 million cubic metres, raising its water level to 34% capacity,” Minister Machatine said.
The water released would allow Pequenos Libombos to fully satisfy demand for water in Maputo province, which has been facing a water crisis for the last five years as a result of cyclical drought in southern Mozambique.
The initiative stemmed from a commitment made by Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi and King Mswati III during the former’s state visit last month.Source: Lusa
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