Sweden funds development of Púnguè river basin in Mozambique

18 May 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 18 May – The Swedish International Development Agency (ASDI) has provided funding of 117 million Swedish kroner (US$15 million) for development of the River Púnguè basin, the Notícias newspaper reported in Maputo.

The funding, which is to be used in the execution of the second phase of the Joint Water Resources Development and Integrated Management Strategy, in place since 2002 between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, will make it possible to identify the potential of the basin, to analyse and establish alternative future development possibilities, particularly in improving the quality of life of riverside communities.

The execution of the Joint Strategy faces some critical issues, namely warning and mitigation of floods and droughts, control of saline intrusion and management and mitigation of gold mining.

There are also some constraints related to management of environmental flows and Urema Lake in the Gorongosa National Park in Sofala province, as well as the need to define development strategies for small and medium-sized dams, land and water use, and creation of small scale funds.

A Púnguè basin commission has been set up made up of large water consumers in Sofala, such as the Fund for Investment and Water Supply Assets (Fipag), sugar company Açucareira de Moçambique, district administrations, traditional leaders, rural worker associations and the community in general.

Similar activities are being undertaken along the Púnguè River basin in Zimbabwe, although 80 percent of funding is focused on Mozambique as 95 percent of the waterway is located there.

The second phase of the Joint Water Resources Development and Integrated Management Strategy ends in 2016. (macauhub)