By Esther Dzviti
Harare – Following damage caused by cyclones in Mozambique, the African Development Bank has finalised the purchase of 26 modular steel bridges to replace infrastructure that was destroyed in the disasters.
According to the AfDB, the modular bridges will be installed in coming months after the appointment of local contractors. The goal is to restore transport connections to regions of Manica, Sofala, Nampula and Cabo Delgado, with an estimated 500,000 people expected to benefit.
The bridges have a 100-year lifespan, giving the government and its partners room to implement climate-durable solutions.
“We are delighted to be able to deliver this important contribution to Mozambique and respond to the recent climate disasters while investing to building back better,” said Mr Pietro Toigo, the AfDB country manager for Mozambique. “The Bank will remain at the forefront of the fight to mobilise climate finance for adaptation and contribute to climate justice for the African continent.”
The bridges are being funded under the Post-Cyclone Idai and Kenneth Emergency Recovery and Resilience Programme, which was approved after the two disasters hit the Southern Africa region, affecting around three million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“The programme is being implemented over four years, ending in December 2023, at a total cost of UA70.86 million (US$100 million) of which UA66.01 million is to be paid by the bank and the remainder by the affected governments. The funding was provided by the African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank Group.
“Central Mozambique has been hit by extreme climate events in recent years. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth passed through the same region of the country in March and April 2019, also affecting neighboring countries. Disaster struck again with Tropical Storm Chalane in December 2020 and Cyclone Eloise in January 2021,” said the development bank.
Mozambique is regarded one of the world’s most climate-stressed countries.
In its 2018-2022 Country Strategy Paper for Mozambique, the AfDB directed roughly US$120 million to strengthening the country’s climate resilience.