CAPE VERDE: €21 million for the construction of 2 seawater desalination plants

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CAPE VERDE: €21 million for the construction of 2 seawater desalination plants © Jo Ann Snover /Shutterstock

During a trip to Mindelo, the country's second largest city, on Tuesday 17 April 2018, Alcindo Mota, Chairman of the Board of Electra, Cape Verde's electricity and water company, announced that work on two seawater desalination plants will be completed in just over three months.

Two desalination plants will be commissioned in Cape Verde in August 2018. They are under construction: one on the island of Salt and the other on the island of São Vicente, of which Mindelo is the main city. The two stations will each have a production capacity of 10,000 m3 of water per day. Total cost of these constructions: 21 million euros, entirely financed by the public company.

The seawater desalination plants in Sal and São Vicente complement those in the capital Praia, which produces 15,000 m3 of water per day. Alcindo Mota, chairman of Electra’s board of directors, said his company plans to increase its water production capacity to 20,000 m3 per day by the end of the year. These projects will eventually solve the growing water shortage problem in Cape Verde.

Cape Verde, surrounded by the sea, lacks water

50 years ago, Cape Verde’s water and electricity company, Electra, installed its first seawater desalination plant in Praia. Since then, the population has more than doubled to over 530,000. The archipelago has also experienced severe drought in recent years.

Since March 2018, it is the island of Santiago (where more than 270 000 people live) which suffers from a very strong drought. Here, the inhabitants depend heavily on rainwater. But this resource is scarce, not a drop for several months according to the Portuguese newspaper Darios de Noticias. In São Salvador do Mundo, a municipality on the island of Santiago, people are forced to queue in front of water fountains every morning.  “We have to get up early to line up and get two bottles of water (25 litres each),” says a resident of the Cape Verdean press agency Lusa Dada.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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