WaterTime Mozambique




Access to clean and safe water for 3,850 households in three villages




Access to clean and safe water for 3,850 households in three villages

Project story

WaterTime: sustainable access to drinking water in Mozambique

While we often take clean drinking water for granted, in Mozambique, it remains a luxury, with many forced to travel long distances for contaminated sources. Dorcas Mozambique’s WaterTime program provides vital safe water access, tackling hygiene issues and disease transmission. Beyond health benefits, it empowers women and girls by easing their water-fetching burdens, facilitating education attendance. This results in fewer waterborne illnesses and local job opportunities, bolstering community resilience. Operating in Nhamatanda, Mozambique, the WaterTime program leads the charge in addressing critical water access and management challenges, championing inclusivity, sustainability, and community empowerment. In a region where outdated water systems struggle to meet modern demands, WaterTime introduces innovative approaches to revolutionize water access and management.

About local partner Dorcas
Inspired by the Bible, Dorcas was founded by Dutch pioneer Dirk-Jan Groot in 1980 to support people persecuted for their religious beliefs under communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Building on their Christian identity, they expanded their activities to Africa and the Middle East, and their focus shifted towards humanitarian assistance and development. Dorcas demonstrates God’s love to the marginalized and acts as Jesus’ hands and feet for those in need.

‘Together we work for those in need. We invest in realizing sustainable change in the lives of people experiencing poverty, exclusion or a crisis by creating opportunities for them to use their God-given potential and flourish. This is how we follow Jesus Christ’  –  Dorcas management

An innovative approach to clean water
WaterTime improves access to water at existing boreholes by using solar-powered water towers and simple taps. However, the program is about far more than the smart provision of clean water. In collaboration with local partners Ardes and technical advisory organization Practica, WaterTime introduces two groundbreaking innovations.

  1. Firstly, the installation of solar-powered and modular micro water systems represents a significant leap forward in sustainable water management. These small-scale piped water systems, powered by renewable solar energy, hold the potential to expand into mini-grids based on actual water sales, community needs, and population growth.
  2. Secondly, the integration of TokenTaps into these systems ensures efficient and equitable water distribution, further enhancing their impact and sustainability. The TokenTap system is a robust pre-paid water payment technology where community members buy their tokens for a small fee from a local kiosk and can use them at community taps.

However, people who cannot afford the tokens receive the water for free to ensure everyone has access to this vital service. In some cases, people do not use tokens but instead have a water meter connection in their home. The program targets 3.850 households across three villages, ensuring widespread impact.

Sustainable solutions
WaterTime adopts an asset management approach to ensure the technical and financial viability of these innovations, safeguarding long-term sustainability. By promoting community awareness, participation, and ownership, WaterTime fosters a culture of resilience and self-reliance, empowering individuals to take control of their water resources and improve their quality of life. The funds raised through the token system are used to manage the water system and to teach members of the community how to maintain it. Trained individuals then become entrepreneurs who manage the water system. With this approach, Dorcas safeguards the funding and maintenance of the water system and enables the local community to take ownership of it. Upgrading existing water sources with solar pumps and pre-paid systems further ensures sustainable, ample, clean, and safe water access for all. Engaging with government and stakeholders creates an enabling environment and promotes familiarity with scalable, efficient technology. Overall, WaterTime’s multifaceted approach ensures sustainability by empowering communities, optimizing resources, and fostering collaboration with various stakeholders.

Regina, a 41-year-old mother of six children in Mozambique, once faced the challenges of scarce clean water and its associated health risks. Floods rendered water saline and of poor quality, leading to illness and poor hygiene. However, through the Water Time program, Regina received training in business management and water system maintenance. As a tower operator, she now earns extra income for her family by managing water coins. Her efforts not only provide financial stability but also contribute to improved community health through clean water and hygiene education. With reduced illness and the elimination of long walks for water, Regina’s village experiences a significantly enhanced quality of life.

WaterTime is a 2-year intervention for the 3 villages and so far, we are good on track. In 2023 alone, we achieved the following results:

  • 30 families received water meter connections in their homes
  • 750 people gained access to clean water via token taps
  • 150 families now enjoy basic WASH services
  • 30 individuals saw their income increase by $8 a day through water management jobs.

‘We now have a far better quality of life. Fewer people become ill and we no longer need to make long walks to fetch water. And as a tower operator, I earn extra income for my family.’ – Regina 

Program costs
As we advance into 2024, our focus is clear: ensuring sustainable water access for all. With a budget of $200,000, we still seek $115,000 to propel our initiatives forward. This funding will facilitate:

  • Install and update 66 water systems by running these on sustainable energy and ensuring access for everyone in the community
  • Complete the transition to community-based water service models
  • Continue to implement a public-private partnership approach to water management funded by revenues generated through selling water at an affordable and sustainable rate
  • Provide access to clean and safe water for 3.850 households in three villages.

Join us in sustaining these achievements and transforming more lives with safe water access! In addition to addressing immediate water access challenges, WaterTime directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good health and well-being) and 6 (Clean water and sanitation), thereby advancing the broader agenda of sustainable development and ensuring a brighter future for generations to come. Through its comprehensive and innovative interventions, WaterTime exemplifies the transformative potential of collaborative efforts in tackling complex socio-environmental challenges. 

Project impression

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