The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that it has finalized the purchase of 26 temporary bridges to replace infrastructure that was destroyed by cyclones in Mozambique during the beginning of 2021. The modular steel bridges going to be installed in the coming few months as soon as local contractors in Mozambique have been appointed.
Although the bridges are said to be temporary, the AfDB notes that they have a lifespan of up to 100 years.
“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. The Bank will remain at the forefront of the fight to mobilize climate finance for adaptation and contribute to climate justice for the African continent,” said Pietro Toigo, country manager for Mozambique at the African Development Bank.
In January 2021, Cyclone Eloise destroyed infrastructure in Beira and other areas of Mozambique as it made landfall. Central Mozambique has been hit by extreme climate events in recent years. Beira was also subject to destruction of infrastructure by Cyclone Idai in 2019. 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.
The cyclone not only affected infrastructure but destroyed the homes and property of people in Mozambique, with many displaced.
It is hoped that the modular bridges will help with the restoration of transport connections to the isolated regions of Manica, Sofala, Nampula and Cabo Delgado. As a result, according to AfDB, an estimated 500,000 people are expected to benefit.
“The government of Mozambique is delighted to be working with the African Development Bank to help build resilience to climate and disaster risk management in the country," said João Osvaldo Machatine, Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources.
Mozambique is regarded as one of the world’s most climate-stressed countries. In its 2018-2022 Country Strategy Paper for Mozambique, the African Development Bank identifies climate change as a key development challenge and has directed roughly $120 million to strengthen the country’s climate resilience.
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