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Making water services last in Mozambique

Published on: 30/07/2012

In rural Mozambique, nearly 35% of water facilities are not working or in need of repair. The National Directorate of Water [DNA: Direcção Nacional de Águas] is confronting this problem by catalysing the process for sector reform. DNA adopted the service delivery approach—to essentially improve sector harmonisation and to promote learning in Mozambique’s rural water sector. 

Collecting water in Nampula, Mozambique.

Collecting water in Nampula, Mozambique.

Mozambique’s National Directorate of Water applies service delivery approach while partnering with IRC’s Triple-S initiative to improve rural water services. 

Mozambique’s rural water sector is characterised by uncoordinated donor funded programmes which focus primarily on building new systems—often without consideration for indefinite maintenance of the services. The disjointed and limited approach to service delivery hinders communities from receiving uninterrupted water services. In rural Mozambique, nearly 35% of water facilities are not working or in need of repair. The National Directorate of Water [DNA: Direcção Nacional de Águas] is confronting this problem by catalysing the process for sector reform. This means moving the rural water sector from focusing dominantly on building new facilities, towards setting up institutional and management structures that can maintain and ensure long-term water facilities. In order to support this shift, DNA adopted the service delivery approach—to essentially improve sector harmonisation and to promote learning in Mozambique’s rural water sector.

DNA solidified their enthusiasm and interest in using the service delivery approach as the framework for their rural sector reform by embedding the service delivery approach into their National Rural Water and Sanitation Programme [PRONASAR: Programa Nacional de Abastecimento de Água e Saneamento Rural]. DNA also engaged IRC for support in implementing a sector-wide reform through PRONASAR. Together, DNA and IRC are studying the current situation in Mozambique to assess what’s working and what isn’t working in rural water service delivery. Alana Potter, IRC senior programme officer and Mozambique country co-coordinator says that the work currently being done by DNA and IRC ‘can be used as a roadmap for re-envisioning how rural water services are delivered in the country’.

June 2012 marked the start of the one-year partnership between DNA and IRC. Alana Potter said that by May 2013, DNA and IRC plan to have an informed revision of Mozambique’s current rural water implementation manual, which can therefore improve how water services are being delivered and maintained for local communities. DNA, IRC, and other collaborators such as UNICEF Mozambique and ProWater Consultores Lda are now collecting international and national lessons from sustainability innovations in water and sanitation services. Water and Sanitation Program [WSP], another key partner in this process, is also working with provincial and district government stakeholders to identify lessons from water systems that have been sustainable for more than five years. The overall goal of all partners involved is to analyse a compilation of best practices, and recommend ways for replicating lessons into Mozambique’s rural water context.

For more information on the water services that last initiative in Mozambique and the methodology, please contact Alana Potter at  triple-s@irc.nl .

Please contact Luis Macario at lmacario@worldbank.org for further information on WSP and their work in Mozambique. 

26 July 2012.