Mozambique is one of the countries where large percentage of total population still lacks access to safe drinking water. The worst part in the whole story is that the country has enough water resources to cover for their needs if not for the growing water pollution issue.
The main culprit responsible for growing water pollution in the country is effluent from households, agriculture and industry. Add to this a growing exploitation of natural gas, metals and other resources in the coastal areas of the country, and the increase in the runoff of nutrients into surface water, and there is really no surprise why majority of the population still lacks access to safe drinking water.
These factors have lead to the blooming of cyanobacteria. The large number of these species of bacteria produce substances called cyanotoxins. The largest family of cyanotoxins are called microcystins and they can have a negative
effect on human health such as serious damage to liver. The exposure to these substances is done by either drinking polluted water or via direct skin contact and inhalation.
To counter these issues, developed countries have established effective management of the drinking water systems, by first of all monitoring the levels of cyanobacterial blooms and their toxins, in order to prevent them from spreading and affecting the water quality.
Olivia Carolina Narciso Pedro, has in her doctoral research measured he occurrence of microcystins in freshwater used for drinking in Mozambique. She discovered that the concentrations of microcystins were far higher than WHO's recommendations for the safe drinking water.