Prior to COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of people in Mozambique were already in need of water, sanitation and hygiene services. Most of the 80 per cent of urban people live in informal settlements with limited access to water and sanitation, and majority of the increasing displaced population of Mozambique lack access to the same services.
The country has been facing multiple disease outbreaks, including cholera and malaria, stretching humanitarian organization’s capacity to assist those in need of assistance.
Only half of Mozambicans have access to improved water supply and just one in five use improved sanitation facilities. Of the 1,643 health centres in the country, some 19 per cent do not have access to water, and 17 per cent do not have sanitation facilities for patients.
Women and girls are particularly affected by poor access to water and sanitation, which has a detrimental impact on their health and threatens their security, well-being and education.
The WASH Cluster is organizing awareness campaigns to prevent COVID-19 in several regions of the country, including accommodation centres and places hosting internally displaced people (IDPs) in northern and central Mozambique. Training and capacity building sessions to community health promoters and workers are taking place in Sofala, Manica, Maputo, Cabo Delgado, Nampula, amongst other regions.
Across the country, assessments to identify needs on WASH services are taking place in Sofala, Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Manica and other provinces, with special focus on areas hosting IDPs.
In Nampula, the distribution of hygiene kits to positive COVID-19 cases is ongoing in Nampula City and will continue in Nacala-A-Velha and Nacala Porto. At least 34 boreholes were successfully rehabilitated in Nampula Municipality and partners are monitoring, repairing or constructing WASH infrastructures, including handwashing stations, boreholes, water points and latrines in several localities and sites hosting IDPs.
In Cabo Delgado, access to safe water was improved in Pemba City through the construction of 27 new water points out of the 30 initially planned and the allocation of five mobile standpipes. Partners also concluded the distribution of COVID-19 response hygiene kits to nearly 30 health centres across the Province. The construction of water supply, sanitation, handwashing basins and laundry concluded in 18 de Outubro and Decimo Congresso isolation wards.
Due to frequent attacks and subsequent mobility of the population, the WASH cluster is currently not implementing activities in the districts of Mocimboa da Praia, Quissanga, Muidumbe and Macomia.
Intersectoral coordination remains a gap for the COVID-19 response.
In Nampula, the resettlement of IDPs to new sites is still pending consultation, which delays improvement activities in the sites, including the distribution of hygiene kits donated by UNICEF to the INGC.