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Value of Water in Angola  

Water development and related planning in Angola would appear to be still sufferring from the aftermath of the war. Efforts are underway to improve the situation, however, lack of water data in the national database and uncertainty on the quality of historical water hinder proper water development planning (NORAD 2004).

Information is available on major (physical) water flows in the Kunene basin, but there is little documentation on the consumption of water resources or the productivity resulting from water use and consumption in the Kunene basin. Water accounting as described here is thus virtually inexistent.

Carrying water in a jerrycan - Angola.
Source: Image courtesy of WEDC © Wayne Conradie (Picturing Africa)
( click to enlarge )

Water Policy Context

Important documents on water policy comprise Angola’s Water Law (2002), Water Sector Development Programme (2004), and the short term action plan (2004). The Water Law provides for a system of tariffs and taxes on private use that aim to promote reasonable water use, water conservation and minimisation of pollution. Low tariffs for low income groups will guarantee sufficient water supply for basic hygiene and consumption. The tariff system will differentiate between urban and rural users and between different types of consumers. In Huambo for example, a difference is made between small consumers (including administration) and large consumers (industry, larger service providers, hotels etc). Protection of water quality is considered through incorporation of the polluter pays principle.

Water Providers

According to interviews held in Huambo the province has six Water and Sanitation Utilities (Empresas de Água e Saneamento) that are functional: Huambo, Caala, Chikala-Cholohanga, Bailundo, Londuimbale and Alto Hama. Out of these six, only three (Huambo, Chikala-Cholohanga and Caala) are more or less operational. Water and Sanitation Brigades exist in Ukuna, Longongo and Tchingenje.

The Huambo Provincial Water and Sanitation Company (Empresa Provincial de Águas e Saneamento do Huambo, EPASH) had 3,888 registered consumers in February 2010. Until the early 1980s it had about 16,000 consumers. Since 2006 the number of registered households has slowly increased.

According to Mr. Rodrigues Kamerman, Director of EPASH, the National Plan (Plano Director) it is foreseen that from 2012 on, the EPASH will have more independence from government. They will be called “Empresas Públicas de Agua” (EPA) and will have to generate income for the maintenance of infrastructure etc. Huambo will be one of the first “pilot provinces” in Angola to have an EPA (source: personal communication).

Fetching water from a handpump - Angola.
Source: Image courtesy of WEDC © Wayne Conradie (Picturing Africa)
( click to enlarge )

Water Tariffs

According to a joint decree of 2004 by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy and Water, the water price is set at Kwz 67.5/m³ (US$ 0.84/ m³). EPAS Huambo covers only Kwz 23.8/ m³ (0.30 US$/ m³) from private households and about Kwz 26/ m³ (US$0.32/ m³) from private enterprises. Every household has its own water meter which costs 40 Kwz per month.

This price was not changed since 2007 and does not cover the total costs of the EPASH. Payment, however, is a serious problem for EPASH.

On a country-wide scale, one cubic metre of water costs up to US $7 (IPIECA 2005) or even up to US $20 in some regions (Cain & Mulenga 2009).

A report on the cross-border Bulk Water Supply Project Oshikango - Ondjiva, commissioned by the German KfW, states that "the cost of water varies between zero and five Kwanzas per litre (Kwz/l). The average price of water is 1.25 Kwz/l. The most common prices seen were 0.5 Kwz/l (Santa Clara and Namacunde), 1 Kwz/l (Ondjiva, water tankers) and 2.5 Kwz/l (pump extracted wells in areas of high demand). (...) Because of the high price of water in Angola, six of the 35 families interviewed in Santa Clara stated that they regularly buy water in Namibia" (Tump 2006).




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