The Mozambican Minister of Public Works, Felicio Zacarias, said on 29 June 2009 that the reforms in water supply that began in 1995, and which have led to delegating the management of urban water supply in major cities to private consortia, have produced positive results. Investments have led to increased coverage (54%) and better service (average availability of water is 18 hours a day, and in some cases it reaches 24 hours a day).
Many challenges still remain, including the need to ensure improved levels of satisfaction among consumers and expanding water systems to peri-urban areas.
Zacarias was speaking in Maputo during the launch of a “Case Study on Delegated Management of Water Supply in Mozambique”, sponsored by the World Bank.
The World Bank study covers the period 2000-2007. Initial setbacks led to the main partner in the “Aguas de Mocambique” (Waters of Mozambique) consortium, the French company SAUR, to drop out. By 2007, the initial problems had been solved. The success of the reforms is attributed to the government’s commitment, the creation of a separate public body that owns the main water assets (FIPAG), and of a non-political regulatory body, and the continuity and professionalism of leading figures in the sector, despite the change in management.
The study recommends that the government provide reliable and audited data to all potential private operators in the water sector so that they can make a realistic assessment of the financial risks. It urges that local private operators should be promoted, in order to minimize the costs of delegated management and ensure its long term sustainability.
Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique / allAfrica.com, 30 Jun 2009