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29. March 2023
87,296 People Reached

Restoring a reliable water supply for Beira's most in-need residents after Cyclone Idai

Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries. Only one quarter of its urban residents have access to piped drinking water and more than half lack the most basic sanitation facilities. This means there is significant unmet demand for a safe and sustainable water supply.

The city of Beira is the fourth largest in Mozambique. It was hit hard by Cyclone Idai in 2019, which damaged its already fragile water supply network. As a result, the city has struggled to provide water and sanitation services to its 500,000 residents. Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) has been working with local stakeholders, including the national water utility FIPAG, to restore a sustainable water supply across Beira.

© StandupMedia/WSUP 2022

Borealis and Borouge, through Water for the World, have supported these efforts by providing funding to a project to benefit the neighbourhoods of Maraza and Chota in Beira, which had been identified as most in need of an improved water supply. Of the up to 9,800 households in these neighbourhoods, around 70% did not have a connection to the water network, affecting more than 32,000 people. Before the project, water was available in the system for a maximum of two hours a day and the flow was unreliable, particularly for households further away from the main pipeline.

The project involved repairing 8 kilometres of existing network piping and constructing a further 11.5 kilometres of water network to reach unserved households across Maraza. In addition, the project led to improvements to the pumping station at the Munhava distribution centre, which supplies both Maraza and Chota, and rehabilitating the existing water tower at the distribution centre.

A water promotion campaign encouraged households in Maraza to connect to the new network, while another campaign promoted good hygiene practices such as handwashing to households in both neighbourhoods. Such campaigns helped households to understand how the network had been repaired and improved, the importance of having their own connection to it, the improvements to the supply and the hours of availability of water, and the benefits for women and for overall hygiene and sanitation conditions.

An improved water supply for the community

As a result of the project, nearly 5,000 households in Maraza can now connect to the new water network, reaching more than 13,500 people.

Water is now accessible in Maraza for at least seven hours a day and the volume has also increased, with the improvements to the distribution centre and the larger pipes used in the new network resulting in more pressure in the system. Residents in Chota are also benefiting from increased water pressure and improved availability, following the upgrades and repairs to the distribution centre.

For the community, the improvements also mean less queuing for water, freeing up time for other activities such as employment or education. This is particularly beneficial for women and girls, as the task of fetching water for the household falls mainly to them.

The hygiene promotion activities reached nearly 22,000 people in Maraza and Chota and the Beira city authorities asked WSUP to extend the campaign into three further neighbourhoods, which are home to more than 65,000 people.

We welcome the support of Borealis in this project. Our work in Beira focuses on creating more resilient services, to ensure that vulnerable residents have sustainable access to clean water and effective sanitation, as climate change makes extreme weather more common.

Ed Mitchell — CEO at WSUP

A more sustainable water network

The completed work and successful pressure testing have significantly improved the quality of the network, with the higher engineering standards making it more resistant to shocks, such as the cyclones which frequently hit Beira. The network has been constructed using pipes provided by Borealis’ customer Politejo, using Borealis’ HDPE PE100 material. This material makes the pipes very durable, with less water loss due to leaks, lower maintenance requirements and fewer opportunities for water to be contaminated through perforations in the pipes. In addition, HDPE offers greater flexibility for network layout, which can reduce costs.

The project also benefited FIPAG in Beira, helping to enhance its network design, material specifications and construction standards. Working with HDPE was new for the FIPAG Beira team and training sessions were held on using this material, including construction, maintenance and global standards.

We are delighted to support another successful project in Mozambique, bringing a regular supply of life-changing safe water to thousands of people. BorSafe PE100-RC polymer is specifically designed for pipes that are quickly installed and very durable and crack resistant. We look forward to assisting more communities in the future.

Robin Bresser — Marketing Manager at Borealis

© StandupMedia/WSUP 2022

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