Every morning, Domingas José, 21, when she left the house to fetch water, had to walk at least two and a half hours to the nearest stream. The situation was more complicated when she needed to wash her clothes. The endless water crisis that ravaged communities leaves residents of the Milhana in Mecubúri District, Northern Mozambique, without any option. As an example, Domingas says she was obliged to walk at least six kilometers to the river. It was in this place where hundreds of residents of that settlement made their way.
The shortage of water for consumption and other housework was the main headache for Milhana residents for roughly three months. Almost every day in the morning dozens of women and children unfolded through their communities and crowded into the few streams and water sources that exist in some neighborhoods in the hope of securing at least one bucket of water. Often it was a real martyrdom.
The situation that has been going on for years has begun to change after the construction of water supply system under the Governance, Water and Sanitation Program (PROGOAS) implemented by Helvetas.
According to Domingas José, the situation tends to improve, since she has access to drinking water a few meters from his house. "It's a great joy to have water close to home. We've been waiting for that for a long time" she said, adding that she now has more time to do her household chores. Married and mother of two children, Domingas has a responsibility to guarantee water for her family.
As Domingas, Amelia Nuteaka, 16, said that Milhana's water supply system brought the joy they lacked.
It was not yet eight o'clock in the morning, but in one of the sources there are already dozens of residents gathered. Amelia did not have to wake up too early to be one of the first people in line to get water
Amélia 16, waiting for her turn to get water
Thanks to the supply system, Amelia has time to go to school and do her chores at home, which was not the case in the past. "It was complicated to have to reconcile activities from home to school because of water, but today things are different because we have water 24 hours per day".
The small water supply system, built with the PROGOAS fund, a project co-financed by the SDC and Helvetas, was inaugurated by the governor of the province of Nampula, Víctor Borges, who at the time praised the collaboration and support given by Helvetas in the water sector and in other areas of work and called on the government of the District of Mecubúri to identify the system manager in order to ensure the sustainability of the system.
The water supply system has the capacity to supply 3,705 families, has a hole of 55m deep. The tower is 7.5m with 2 tanks with a capacity of 7,500 liters each, totalling 15,000 cubic liters. The flow was of 10m3, and 4 public fountains were built, and two home connections were made, one for the official residence of the Chief of the Administrative Post and another for Primary School of Milhana.
According to local authorities, Milhana's water supply system has significantly reduced the residents' drama of having no drinking water and various household activities, such as cooking, washing and dishes, and taking a shower.