Pre-payment water meters are to be installed in Maputo and other cities across the country in an attempt to reduce billing problems and prevent water theft, water utility Aguas de Mocambique (AdeM) has said. The executive director of the Portuguese-led consortium, Braz Duarte, told the independent paper Mediafax that the meters should be installed by late 2006 or early 2007. He also said AdeM would install 100 new public standpipes in the capital and in the nearby city of Matola by the end of the year, to a total cost of $40,000. The cast-iron standpipes will supply water between 23.00 and 15.00 and will serve roughly 50 households each.
However, the Mozambican news agency AIM points out that the new meters and standpipes will do little to solve the problem of leaks in the existing water distribution system, which result in a significant loss of water. Furthermore, many neighbourhoods are still uncovered by the public network and residents will have to continue buying water from private wells.