Twinned with the Whitley Pump – a tale of two islands

Whitley Pump’s travel reporter has been on the road again and reports on two very different islands in northern Mozambique: Ilha de Mozambique, the capital of Mozambique until 1898, and Ibo Island in the Quirimbas archipelago.

Ilha de Mozambique does not have a natural water supply, apart from rain water collection. This system has been in use since the island was settled by the Portuguese after the explorer Vasco da Gama landed there in 1498.

Statue of Vasco da Gama

Statue of Vasco da Gama

The designation of Ilha de Mozambique as Mozambique’s only UNESCO world heritage site was followed by the restoration of the decaying but massively dominating Fortress of San Sebastian. This included repairs to the system for rooftop collection of rainwater for storage in a cistern, documented in a UNESCO video.

There were other pumps around the town which did not appear to be in use.

Disused Water Pump

Water was also supplied from the mainland, and today this includes a pipeline.

Ibo Island is part of the Quirimbas Archipelago which is on UNESCO’s ‘tentative’ list and has a plentiful underground water supply which is accessed by wells and, more recently, pumps. The hand pump in front of the star shaped Fortress of St John the Baptist was restored in 2012 by the Ibo Foundation. Some pumps do a brisker trade than others, with morning and evening rush hours.

Water Pump in Central Square

Water Pump in Central Square

According to WaterAid’s 2016 report, Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016, 49% (13.3 million) of the population of Mozambique do not have access to safe water.

All the Whitley Pump’s twin pumps and troughs are on the map. If you would like to add some more, e-mail us at


  1. Youtube – UNESCO video, Fortress Rehabilitation – Island of Mozambique
  2. UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  3. Tanira hand pump
  4. Ibo Foundation (in Portuguese)
  5. WaterAid
  6. Robert Lee Water Trough – Twinned with Whitley Pump
  7. Bills Water Trough – Twinned with the Whitley Pump
  8. Bills Water Trough – Tilehurst
  9. Twinned with Whitley Pump – A Water Pump in Cambodia
  10. Twinned with Whitley Pump – Park Lane, Charvil
  11. Twinned with Whitley Pump – Bern Fountains and Troughs
  12. Twinned with Whitley Pump – Morey-Saint-Denis
  13. Twinned with Whitley Pump – Windsor & Eton Riverside Station

One thought on “Twinned with the Whitley Pump – a tale of two islands

  1. Pingback: Twinned with the Whitley Pump – St Laurence’s drinking fountain | The Whitley Pump

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