Improving Water and Sanitation in Quelimane City, Mozambique



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
The successful establishment of sustainable local urban management models in this city, and probably in most Mozambican cities, requires much more than two years. In order to operate the ‘change’ and obtain consistent results, more time and resources (both human and financial) are needed. The sustainability of the Community Committees (CCs) in the long-term remains the main concern of the initiative; probably a longer project implementation period would solve the problem. What this project intends to do is rather innovative in Quelimane, and in Mozambique in general. The experience of ADASBU in Maputo, which serves as reference for this project, took several years and several sponsoring organisations to be successful and getting the community association becoming almost (not yet completely since WaterAid is still supporting it) independent; finding an organisation which will support the CCs after the project closes is a critical activity. If CC model becomes sustainable and it is completely tested and demonstrated as an effective solution of preventing worsening of slum conditions, there is a potential to expand it to other neighborhoods in QMC. However, at least 3 additional years are needed for reaching such stage. WaterAid intends to support the two established CCs in Quelimane city for three years. Once such a model has been tested, it could be replicated in other Mozambican municipalities. During the project, UN-Habitat has been approached by several city councils in Mozambique in order to establish conditions for carrying out similar initiatives within their respective municipalities. There is a threat that unless funding can be found to finance the city-wide investments required to continue integrated upgrading, the process will stop with the two neighborhoods assisted through this project. But, the project proposal is a solid document and it is still valid. It can be adapted and submitted to other donors.


Quelimane City, located along the Cuácua River in Mozambique, has more than 70% of its population living in informal settlements. The informal settlements do not have adequate water, sanitation and other basic infrastructure facilities. Building upon an earlier Cities Alliance activity in the city, this project will create the conditions for comprehensive citywide slum upgrading with a focus on improved water and sanitation. The project is expected to establish sustainable and participatory mechanisms for citywide upgrading that can be replicated in other municipalities and potentially be institutionalised in government policies.
The overall objective of the project is to promote a participatory development strategy by identifying and implementing innovative tools and solutions for improving water and sanitation conditions in slum areas in Quelimane city targeting vulnerable groups like women and children. (i) Create adequate conditions and strengthen the capacity of the City Council and of the community in water and sanitation and slum upgrading projects; (ii) Plan and implement activities for improving drainage and road systems efficiency; (iii) Identify, test and apply sustainable solutions to facilitate access to safe drinking water; (iv) Reduce sanitation risks by proposing innovative technology and improving hygienic conditions; and (v) Set up an effective waste management system.
(i) Strengthen and equip sectors of the City Council; hire hydraulic engineer; inform, organise and develop capacity of community committees; local census and requisite data gathering; local consultations to develop implementation strategy; campaigns to raise awareness; (ii) Develop and implement activities to improve drainage and road network efficiency; develop and test rules for their maintenance; (iii) Plan for and extend the water supply network; develop and test rules for their maintenance; (iv) Identify and test innovative sanitation technology; develop plans for consistent sanitation coverage; establish rules for maintenance; (v) Set up an effective waste management system.
Expected Impacts and Results
A several new concepts, approaches and strategies for stimulating local development were introduced, tested and/or strengthened in Quelimane city. These approaches include participatory planning, municipal planning system, community exchanges, micro-enterprises for urban service delivery at the level of community committees, and transparent budgeting system at community level. As a result of the project, the following outcomes were achieved: i) The management capacity of Quelimane Municipal Council was strengthened with the establishment of Community Committees ii) Interlinked issues of water, sanitation, drainage, roads and waste management were addressed in an integrated and consistent manner in Quelimane, resulting in a significant improvement in the living conditions of slum dwellers.