ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON ACCESS TO WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE – Country Deep Dive Report – Mozambique
In May 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) tasked the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project with assessing the effects of the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and products in USAID high priority and strategy-aligned countries. The assignment sought to characterize the current state of affairs and to forecast near-term trends (6–18 months) that could assist governments, donors and implementers prepare an informed response to the WASH-related impacts of the pandemic.
This report presents the detailed findings of the deep dive for Mozambique.
In response to the pandemic, the Government of Mozambique declared a state-of-emergency on 30 March 2020 which it extended on 5 August, but the resulting reductions in movement were quite modest. Indeed, the mobility reductions in Mozambique were consistently the lowest among six USAID high priority and strategy-aligned countries we examined for which cellular mobility data are available. Respondents to our SMS surveys reported that COVID-19 had a major impact on their incomes, with about a third (32 percent) reporting losing their job and another 23 percent reporting earning less money. Among the 42 percent that ran a non-farm business, 23 percent closed their business. The specific water supply response measures put into place by the Government of Mozambique included suspension of water service cut-offs due to non-payment, reconnection of previously cut-off customers (including roughly 3,000 standpipes), suspension of fines for delayed late payments, and complete payment exemptions for all users of public and private standpipes up to 5m3 per month.
Our topline findings, by subsector, are as follows:
WATER SUPPLY – CURRENT STATUS
- The proportion of consumers in Mozambique reporting that COVID-19 has made water access more difficult (36 percent) was among the highest we observed in the six countries in which we conducted surveys.
- Water suppliers are in financial difficulty, but thus far have been able to avoid service disruptions.
In collaboration with USAID, Tetra Tech, FSG and Iris Group.