The municipalities of Pemba and Montepuez, in Cabo Delgado province, and of Nampula and Nacala Porto, in Nampula province, formalised their participation in the Mozambique Northern Mozambique Urban Development Project led by the Mozambican government and the World Bank.
The Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita, said on the occasion that the project would improve the lives of the population in the north of the country.
“The funding for the project is US$100 million over five years. Overall, the project will benefit around 40,000 people with improved homes. Around 324,000 people will benefit from basic infrastructure such as water, roads, energy and drainage ditches, social equipment such as kindergartens, schools, health and community centres, amusement parks and markets,” Minister Mesquita said.
Mesquita said that the four municipalities were selected from the ten in the north of the country based on the number of internally displaced people they were accommodating, the level of access to basic infrastructure and social facilities and their housing deficit.
Minister Mesquita also reiterated that terrorism in the northern zone was creating setbacks in the construction of basic infrastructures and equipment in the most disadvantaged municipalities.
“The northern part of Mozambique has accelerated urban growth, due to the flow of citizens from rural areas to the main cities for various reasons, including the search for better living conditions. The economic and social context is worsened by the action of the insurgents, and this, as a consequence, overloads the capacity of these cities to provide basic infrastructure, social facilities and decent housing,” Minister Mesquita said.
The World Bank wants the project to make cities sustainable and inclusive.
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“These cities are economic centres in the North. If they are well equipped, they will drive the structural transformation of the region,” explained Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank representative in Mozambique. “The development of these municipalities will be at the forefront of strengthening the climate resilience of thousands of citizens.”
During the implementation of the project, other indirect benefits will be generated, the government says, with emphasis on the generation of permanent jobs and the collection of municipal revenue.