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Resilient infrastructure needed in Mozambique

Source(s):  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa (UNDRR AF)

By Denis McClean

MAPUTO - Reducing disaster losses in Mozambique were top of the agenda in Maputo today as the Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, undertook shuttle advocacy across the capital.

Her first port of call was to launch a two-day review with disaster management agency officials from INGC, of disaster loss data collection as the country aims to improve its reporting against the seven targets of the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Ms. Mizutori then moved on to the Technical University of Mozambique where she received a standing ovation from students in a packed lecture hall as she encouraged them to take an interest in disaster risk reduction as a career option.

In the afternoon, she participated in the FT Mozambique Summit organized by the Financial Times which saw the participation of leading figures from politics, business and civil society. The UNDRR chief participated in a key discussion on resilient infrastructure, an issue which has come into stark relief following the back-to-back cyclones which partially destroyed the city of Beira and other parts of northern and central Mozambique in March and April this year.

Speaking at the FT Summith, Ms. Mizutori said housing and agricultural sectors were the worst affected and urged that infrastructure be built to last, in a resilient and risk-informed manner.

She observed that in many disaster exposed locations, there was a reluctance to spend the “extra dollar” on resilience despite the fact that in the life-time of any given project, $4 will be saved in avoiding future losses. The private sector needed to engage in a more risk-informed manner.

Mr. Franciso Pereira, executive director of the Government’s reconstruction authority, told the FT Summit that the poor who lived in Beira and neighboring districts were the worst affected by the loss or damage to 300,000 houses and rebuilding has not yet started.

Speaking to UNDRR, he said that “unfortunately it is difficult to get partners to support housing. Only about $42 million has been committed so far and that’s less than 10% of the needs.

The Government originally appealed for US$3.2 billion for the post-cyclone reconstruction but only US$1.3 billion has been pledged and this is being disbursed on a project by project basis.

Mr. Pereira said $US 700 million dollars is needed for resilient infrastructure including roads, telecom, electricity, water and sanitation.

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  • Publication date 11 Sep 2019

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