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Residents of the western Mozambican city of Tete have been deprived of piped water, particularly in the outlying neighbourhoods, because of corrective maintenance work on the pipes undertaken by the government’s Water Supply Investment and Assets Fund (FIPAG).
The initial promise was that the interruption in supply would be for a very short period, but the reality is that parts of the city have been without their normal water supply for a week, much to the anger of Tete citizens.
The result is that many households are walking down to the Zambezi river to fetch their water, which exposes them to possible attack by crocodiles.
Another alternative consists of the traditional wells in the Nhartanda Valley. But these too are risky, since the water is untreated and poses a threat to public health.
Residents are furious with FIPAG – not least because FIPAG still expects them to pay their monthly water bills. “FIPAG doesn’t see how much we are suffering”, one resident in the Francisco Manyanga neighbourhood, Sara Zacarias, told AIM. “And yet at the end of each month, they distribute invoices for water consumed, even though no water has come out of the taps”.
Another resident, Joaquim Simao, believed the problem is that FIPAG has a monopoly. “This water crisis is due to lack of competition”, he claimed. “We should have more companies that guarantee the supply of piped water”.
A FIPAG statement of 18 July assured the public that “FIPAG technical staff are on the ground, in order to restore normal supplies of water to the neighbourhoods affected as quickly as possible”.Source: AIM
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