Maputo, like other Deltas cities in developing countries suffers from freshwater shortage, improper sanitation, limited access to safe drinking water and reuse of untreated wastewater for irrigation. In fact, despite the good work done in the country regarding water supply and sanitation since the independence from the colonial power in 1975, there is still a long road ahead. In the country more than 50% of the population still lacks access to an improved water source (WHO, 2013) and according to UNECA (2013), Mozambique has demonstrated a “slow rate of progress” regarding access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, with TAC (2014) predicting that the goals for both indicators will only be reached after 2025. The following film, made by UN Habitat, presents some of the problems related to water distribution in Mozambique:
If you are having issues with this clip you can also watch it on YouTube.
These are the main objectives of our Maputo-based projects:
- Work with local community-based, governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the issues that the city’s population faces. In particular, saline intrusion, groundwater contamination, access to safe drinking water, inappropriate sanitation services and unsafe and unplanned wastewater reuse;
- Develop integrated social and technological knowledge, models, robust technologies and methodologies. These should enable the development of a sustainable and more innovative water resources management program for the city of Maputo;
- Produce open-source knowledge that can be replicated in other parts of Mozambique and in other countries facing similar challenges.
To achieve these objectives TU Delft, Unesco-IHE, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and several other partners have teamed-up and are currently involved in a water reclamation project with four local PhD candidates and we have submitted proposals for three other projects. One on managed aquifer recharge, to NWO, and one on fecal sludge management, to ViaWater. An overview of all our projects is available here. Please, feel free to check our publication list. If you wish to get more information about our work don’t hesitate contacting André Arsénio (a.marquesarsenio AT tudelft DOT nl).