Water for a better life: Niassa provincial town water supply and sanitation project in Mozambique


The inadequate water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Cuamba and Lichinga in northern Mozambique accounts for the majority of incidences of water-borne diseases and environmental degradation in Niassa Province.

In order to address this situation, the Mozambican Government requested financial and technical assistance. The African Development Bank’s response was to provide an African Development Fund loan of US $27.7 million to rehabilitate and expand the water and sanitation infrastructure in both cities for the benefit of more than 250,000 people. The project positively impacted multiple areas such as health, quality of life and local industry enhancing the attractiveness of the province. It has demonstrated complementarity among donors (World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Netherlands) in the urban water sector where the AfDB plays the role of the lead donor partner.


To improve the access, quality, availability and sustainability of water supply and sanitation services in Cuamba and Lichinga, through:

  1. Water supply and sanitation rehabilitation and expansion of water supply systems

  2. Rehabilitation/construction of sanitation infrastructure for schools and health centres

  3. Support for solid waste management of the municipal councils

  4. Community mobilization, hygiene education and environmental awareness creation

  5. Support to the water supply and sanitation regulator to develop customer relations and systems

Key facts and figures

Board approval: 2009

Financing: US $30.8 million

Beneficiaries: 250,000 inhabitants


  • Extended coverage from 10% to 70% of the population.

  • Improved quality of water, meeting WHO quality guidelines.

  • Reduced time for fetching water, from average 1.5 hours/day in 2009 to 0.5 hours/day.

  • Lower water losses (leaks, theft, etc.) from over 50% in 2009 to 25%.

  • Increased daily hours of water supply from 1.5 hours/day in 2009 to 24 hours per day.

  • Reduced incidences of diarrhea, dysentery and cholera by 30%, lowering high maternal maternity and infant mortality.

Testimonials from beneficiaries

Maria Semoko, 46, housewife, resident of Cuamba

**“**Our situation is difficult. My sister and I fetch water 3 times a day. Walking 2 kilometres with more the 8 litres is tiring... In one month’s time, we will have tapwater! Our life will be easier and our children will be cleaner.”