Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries, with half the urban population living below the national poverty line and only one quarter having access to piped water. At the same time, increasing urbanisation is placing ever-growing demands on water services. There is therefore a critical demand for a sustainable, good-quality water supply for residents.
In the Greater Maputo region, which includes the country’s two largest cities – Maputo and Matola – there are 16 small scale operators (SSOs) who run local water supply systems on behalf of FIPAG, the national water infrastructure owner. This model – where a utility company subcontracts supply services to SSOs – is common in countries such as Mozambique, as the SSOs are better able to meet the needs of large numbers of low-income consumers than a major organisation such as FIPAG. The SSOs’ services are therefore critical to the low income residents receiving a supply of water. However, the SSOs had raised concerns that both the quality and quantity of the water they distributed had declined. Borealis and Borouge, through Water for the World, saw an opportunity to fund a project that would significantly improve the local water system and the residents’ lives.