Few people living in rural Mozambique have access to clean and safe drinking water. Water-borne diseases and untimely deaths are all too common. Eight Swiss non-governmental organisations have formed a consortium to mitigate Mozambique's water problem.

In rural Mozambique, just three out of ten people live within easy reach of a fountain. Already burdened with many tasks, women spend at least two hours a day fetching water from the nearest source. Lack of maintenance has caused many fountains to fall into disrepair and become unusable. Forced to draw water from contaminated rivers and watering holes, many have suffered diarrhoe and other diseases. Some have even been killed after being attacked by crocodiles.

Safe drinking water and improved hygiene are key to improving the health and lives of the rural population. In the districts of Macate of Manica province and Bárùe of Sofala province, Solidar has trained groups of villagers to maintain and manage their fountains. Solidar also supports local communities and district governments as they build new fountains and repair broken ones. Inez Kenadi from Catandica is happy with the new village fountain. The young woman no longer has to walk to the dirty pool where a crocodile attacked her when she fetched water two years ago.

In another part of the project, latrines are being built near primary schools and children are made aware of the need to wash their hands after a trip to the toilet. Good practices are defined and recommended in collaboration with authorities and other donors in the water sector. The project has been led by the Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium formed by eight Swiss NGOs that decided to contribute to solving the water and sanitation crisis in ten African and Asian countries.

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