Workshop on water quality in small systems by COLLINS


On 19-20 November 2020, COLLINS Sistemas de Água Lda and the Mozambican Water Platform (PLAMA) organized a workshop on water quality in small systems. The seminar took place at the Afrin Hotel Conference Room in Maputo, Mozambique. The goal of the workshop was to bring together the key players of the water and sanitation sector in Mozambique and to open a debate stemming from the results obtained in project SMALL. The workshop was attended by about 40 representatives of local institutions - mostly members of PLAMA - including Water and Sanitation Infrastructures Administration (AIAS), the Water Regulatory Authority (AURA), the Fund for Investment and Assets of Water Supply (FIPAG) and Ministry of Health (MISAU).

The event was opened with welcome remarks by Eng. Sheila Carvalho, director general of PLAMA, and by Eng. Nélio Muiambo, general manager of COLLINS. It kicked-off with a presentation by Dr. Giuliana Ferrero, Associate Professor at IHE Delft and leader of project SMALL, where she illustrated the goal of the project, the consortium and main areas of work implemented in the past 4 years. Subsequently, Ms. Eugenia Nguluve of COLLINS presented the results of a study aimed at understanding the impact of operational strategies (chlorine dosing, number and duration of supply cycles, and first flush) on drinking water quality in the small system of Moamba. Dr. Olivia Pedro of the Center for Biotechnology of Eduardo Mondlane University (CB-UEM) presented the main results of the occurrence of pathogens in Moamba and Homoine. Then, AIAS illustrated the water quality parameters that are included in the contracts used with small private operators. The first day ended with an intense debate on the reasons behind the presence of pathogens in treated water, on the consequences of applying higher chlorine dosage and on the need for adequate design of water distribution networks.

During the second day of the event, Mr. Fernando Nasseago of CB-UEM described the analytical methods used for pathogen analysis in drinking water in the framework of project SMALL. This was followed by a presentation of Eng. Anselmo Munhequete (AURA) on water regulation in Mozambique. Then, Dr. Américo Angelo Paulo of MISAU reflected on the compliance with the monitoring requirements established by the national regulation. Eng. Paulo Junior (FIPAG) described the main challenges experiences in monitoring water quality in FIPAG’s small systems. Finally, Eng. Muiambo (Collins) presented how technological solutions (e.g., frequency inverters to control pumps, pressure reducing valves in the distribution network, filtration with activate carbon) can contribute to improving water quality in small systems. The event was facilitated by Dr. Dinis Juizo, Associate Professor at UEM, civil engineer and consultant.

Overall, the outcome of the workshop was very positive. The high engagement shown by all participants demonstrated the level of importance given to water safety and the impact that the project is having in the water sector in Mozambique. By elucidating existing gaps in water quality management, project SMALL is helping expedite improvements that will enable safeguarding the health of consumers in small towns.