Water industry partners visit Mozambique

on
25 November 2016
Rushy Hayer, Severn Trent Water, talks to a schoolgirl at Beluluane Primary School, Matola Rio, Boane District, Mozambique, October 2016. WaterAid/Sam James

In October 2016, a group of ten supporters from the UK water industry travelled to Mozambique to see how safe water, sanitation and hygiene can change lives. WaterAid photographer Sam James went on the trip with them and tells their story.

The water industry supporters visited rural and urban communities both before and after WaterAid programmes had taken place.

In the suburb of Mavalane, the group saw the amazing difference that hygiene and sanitation facilities make to the lives of school children. Over the past five years, WaterAid and local partners have worked together to construct drinking water facilities and four sanitary blocks, and to implement a hygiene education project.

Children perform a handwashing demonstration in front of the hygiene education mural at a primary school in Mavalane, Mozambique. WaterAid/Sam James
Children perform a handwashing demonstration in front of the hygiene education mural at a primary school in Mavalane, Mozambique.

The group also visited Beluluane primary school in Matola-Rio, which does not yet have access to safe water or adequate sanitation for its pupils. Sophia Mountford, from Affinity Water, described the current difficulties faced by the school.

"If you saw the state of these latrines, it would be clear that this isn't a safe or clean place for the students. They share five latrines between the more than 2,000 students who come to the school over three shifts. There are no doors, which is a particular issue for girls on their periods and can cause them to miss school."

WaterAid is working with local partners to build sanitary blocks for the school so the children can focus on their education without the risk of disease or infection.

Sharing skills and knowledge

The group visited projects where technologies that are also used in the UK are being implemented to counter the lack of access to basic services.

For example, the Mulotana health centre is implementing a rainwater harvesting system which will provide life-saving water and sanitation to patients and healthcare professionals.

In Bairro 7 de Setembro, the water industry partners got the chance to put their skills to good use, helping to construct latrines and sanitation facilities for people like Ancha.

Helen from Northumbrian Water said: "It was marvellous to be able to get involved in building Ancha a new latrine. Not only can she go to the loo in safety, she can also take a seat because the latrine we built comes with a toilet seat."

WaterAid was set up by the UK water industry in 1981. Every year, employees across the industry spend thousands of hours volunteering for WaterAid, raising money and awareness.

Read more about our work with water industry partners >