Fishermen moor their boats as the sun sets with the construction of the Katembe Bridge in the background, in the Mozambique capital Maputo. Picture: Grant Neuenberg/Reuters

Johannesburg – Mozambique’s capital Maputo could follow Cape Town’s water crisis with the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean which is responsible for the current drought in southern Africa effecting Mozambique this year, the country’s National Meteorological Institute has warned, AllAfrica has reported.

According to Aracio Tembe from the Meteorological Institute, the country’s rainy season is nearly over and although rainfall has been reasonably good in all parts of Mozambique, the south-west which includes South Africa’s watershed areas and Swaziland has suffered.

Mozambique’s water levels have only risen from 19 to 25 percent of capacity behind the Pequenos Libombos dam, which provides water for Maputo and Matola.

If used sparingly, this amount of water could still suffice until the next rainy season which starts in November, but water restrictions will need to be introduced.

The water shortage has been exacerbated by Maputo and Matola’s rapid population growth.

Work on the Moamba Maior dam was supposed to add water capacity but was stopped following a scandal involving the main Brazilian contractor which led to Brazil cutting funding.

Currently a dam is being built at Corumana and that should be ready in 2019 to help address the water shortages. However, it will require a 90 km pipeline to reach Maputo.

African News Agency/ANA