Mozambique is one of 16 sub-Saharan countries belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community.
Around 40% of the community’s population has no access to safe water – that’s around 130 million people.
The small town of Ressano Garcia, near the border with South Africa, illustrates the gravity and urgency of the situation.
“Right now, 14,000 people live in this town, Ressano Garcia,” explains Silvestre Mario Trigo, technical manager at the Ressano Garcia water treatment plant. “Not all of them have access to drinking water. So they turn to the river. But the water in this river is not treated. So when it reaches the households, it causes diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases”.
The local health centre takes care of some 500 patients every day. Around 10 per cent of them suffers from diarrhoea.
Abdul Rafael Sega is the director of the town’s medical centre:
“One of the reasons for most cases of diarrhoea and diarrhoea-related diseases is the quality of water. It is very, very clear that the better water people have access to, the greater the improvement in the health of the entire population would be”.
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