For many years, residents of Cabinda Province in Angola suffered from water shortage due to a lack of infrastructure, with most of them relying on local water delivery trucks for daily usage needs.
In June 2022, a water supply project built by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) (International) Limited was completed in Cabinda, which helped solve the local water shortage problem and allowed many villagers to directly access tap water for the first time.
“Chinese people helped us realize the dream of generations, and we no longer have to go to the river 3 km away before dawn to fetch water,” said Pedro Jose, a local resident.
“For more than a year, the Cabinda water supply project has been running smoothly with a daily water supply capacity of 50,000 cubic meters, which can ensure the supply of tap water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, covering 92 percent of the populated area in Cabinda and 600,000 residents,” said Li Chongyang, general manager of CRCC (International) Limited.
Cabinda is not the only province to benefit from the Chinese enterprises in Angola. Cunene Province in southern Angola also enjoys improved water supply infrastructure thanks to the Chinese enterprises.
The drought relief project in Cunene Province, a key livelihood project in Angola undertaken by the Power Construction Corporation of China, started in 2019, giving local people hope of fighting drought and drinking clean water.
In Cunene, the dry season can last up to nine months every year, and the severe drought causes immense woes to local residents.
“The fields were cracked by the sun and livestock which died of thirst was everywhere,” said local villager Augusto, recalling a drought in 2018.
In April last year, the first and second sections of the project were completed and put into use. Today, a 150-kilometer-long canal connects scattered cisterns to the Cunene River, where clear water glistens.
“This project can benefit 235,000 people in Cunene, and also meets the water needs of about 250,000 livestock and irrigation needs of 5,000 hectares of land,” said Li Xunfeng, general manager of the Angola office of the Power Construction Corporation of China.
“The situation has improved a lot since the drought relief project went operational. The villagers and their cattle and sheep now have plenty of drinking water. Thanks to this ‘life-saving canal,’ we are far away from the drought,” said Mongela, a local villager.
“Angola’s partnership with China is very important to us,” said Gerdina Didalewa, governor of Cunene Province, adding that Chinese enterprises have made important contributions to improving people’s livelihood and eliminating poverty in the area.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, several projects constructed by China in Angola in the fields of water conservancy, transportation, and energy have been completed.
The projects undertaken by Chinese enterprises have effectively improved the living conditions of local people and created conditions for Angola’s economic development, which is of great significance to the realization of Angola’s medium- and long-term strategic goals, said Angolan Minister of Energy and Water, Joao Baptista Borges.
“The numerous water supply facilities constructed by Chinese enterprises in Africa have provided a ‘Chinese solution’ for African countries to develop water resources and alleviate drought problems,” said Wang Cheng’an, an expert from the University of International Business and Economics in China.
These projects are vivid examples of the benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative and a concrete manifestation of the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future, Wang added.