A Semana Online, accompanied by technicians from the Ministry of Rural Development’s regional delegation for north Santo Antão and from equipment company Luís Frazão, saw that all of the 90 mm tubes equipping the pumping system had been replaced by 63 mm equipment.
“When it was unveiled, the system for the pumping of water from the Ribeira de Baixo zone to Chã-de-Mar (located at an altitude of approximately 300 meters) was equipped with 90 mm PN-10 polyethylene tubes, which were larger than the pumps’ technical capacity, as there were no PN-16 and PN-25 tubes on the market,” justified Ministry of Rural Development regional delegate Osvaldo Maurício.
“Now, as we can see, the system is operational and working normally. All that’s left is the test run of the reservoir distribution network for the agricultural properties – some 2,640 meters of tubes have already been installed in this respect – to detect possible faults to be corrected,” according to the Rural Development Ministry official.
Contacted by A Semana Online, a farmer from Fontainhas, who declined to provide his name, said that “the delay resulted in a certain degree of disappointment and undermined the credibility of the High-Altitude Water Pumping System, but with its repair we’ve come to believe in the project again, and we hope that the precious liquid gets to our properties as soon as possible.”
The project, one of three unveiled in April 2014 on the island by Prime Minister José Maria Neves, was executed by the companies Mota Engil and Luís Frazão, cost some 130 million escudos and was financed by a line of credit made available by the Portuguese government.