The region of Water Undergrounds projects is primarily focused on Massinga District, Inhambane Province, Mozambique.
The area has some of the most vulnerable populations in the country, and before Water Underground, no other NGO was operating in the area in the WASH sector.
Massinga District has 77 schools / communities that do not have access to clean water and sanitation. In fact, never in the history of Mozambique has a District been able to say that they have 100% access to water in sanitation in their schools.
We want to change that. Over the next 5 years, we want to partner with you and make history in Mozambique.
Mozambique underwent a civil war that led to extreme poverty and severely unhealthy living conditions. In addition, floods and earthquakes exacerbate the growing water crisis. With the 22nd highest child mortality rate in the world, every year 82,000 children in Mozambique don't make it to the age of five.
Recently, Mozambique has made incredible strides toward development, and providing access to clean water is a major priority.
Of Mozambique’s population, 70.2% live in rural areas.
Water supply and sanitation coverage levels in Mozambique remain among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. According to official data; 71.8% of the rural population does not have access to safe water.
WHY WE CHOSE MOZAMBIQUE
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, however politically, it is one of the more stable nations on the African continent, which is one of the reasons this country was chosen to launch first Water Underground projects. 70% of the population of Mozambique live in the rural areas, with little to no opportunity for economic development due to lack of access to clean water.
The founder, Justin Arana, had traveled to Mozambique in 2008, and was confronted head on by the water crisis and the subsequent poverty trap that people (especially women) were living in. He soon formed a strong bond with Silvestre Uquieo, a local Mozambican (formally Minister for Agriculture in Inhambane Province) who shared his passion for wanting to change the tackle the global water crisis.
Given the fact that Silvestre had trusted ties within the Massing District Government - wherein red tape could be eliminated and no corruption was possible, they agreed that this was the perfect location to launch first projects.
Justin and Silvestre continued to work for other NGOs in the water sector while they developed their model. Together, after spending many years formulating a model of sustainability and empowerment to help communities in rural Mozambique lift themselves out of poverty, in 2014, Water Underground was established.