Maputo, 13 Apr (AIM) – The mayor of the central Mozambican city of Beira, Albano Carige, on Wednesday insisted that the city’s coastal protection projects and the rehabilitation of its drainage are plans of the municipality, and not of the central government.
Speaking at a press conference in Beira, Carige pointed out that these projects have been in the municipal plans since 2008.
He was reacting to declarations by Public Works Minister Carlos Mesquita, who visited Beira on Saturday to monitor implementation of the coastal protection and drainage projects.
Carige said that, within two months, a contractor will be selected who will build the coastal protection scheme. The initial work is budgeted at 120 million US dollars, of which 30 million are currently available.
Carige said the Minister’s statements were intended to give the impression that the two projects come from the central government. So Carige called a press conference to make it clear that the projects were designed and developed by the municipality.
“They are our projects, and they have been in our master plan since 2008”, he said. “They form part of our vision of the coastal security of Beira up to 2035”.
Carige showed the journalists a document from 2019, after cyclone Idai had torn through Beira, which included a reformulated coastal protection project, costed at 90 million dollars.
“We contacted several partners, and the government of Holland guaranteed 30 million dollars”, said the Mayor. On the advice of the Dutch authorities, Beira Municipal Council looked for other funds elsewhere, and secured a further 30 million dollars – 15 million from the World Bank, and 15 million from the German Development Bank, KfW.
Carige also denied that it was the central government that would build a second retention basis, as part of the rehabilitation of the Beira drainage channels.
“The government is not building the second basin. It’s following the project of the municipality. We are projecting seven stormwater retention basins to mitigate flooding in Beira and avoid water-borne diseases”, said the Mayor.
He added that the coastal protection project includes restoring and strengthening the sea wall, and restoring the cordon of dunes around the city, planting vegetation to hold the sandy soils in place. Carige hoped this work will be done in 18 months.