In 2022, the City of Beira, Mozambique, was selected as a grantee of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), the MMC’s instrument to channel international funding directly to cities to implement inclusive projects of their own design. With support from the GCF, the City of Beira is revitalizing damaged city buildings as temporary shelters to relocate people forced to move by severe flooding.
Mozambique has long-faced natural hazards, and extreme weather events have become more frequent and intense in recent years. As a low-lying city located on Mozambique’s central coast, Beira is not only highly exposed to the risks of tropical cyclones, storm surge, coastal erosion and sea level rise, but it is also home to many internally displaced people (IDPs) who have fled conflict in the country’s north in search of safety and economic opportunities.
Following tropical cyclones Idai, Chalane and Eloise from 2019-2021, communities living in the informal settlement of Praia Nova, which is precariously constructed on a sandbank and home to over 100,000 people, were forced to repeatedly flee their homes. Extreme weather has also damaged local infrastructure and public spaces, including the once thriving 20 de Agosto fish market. Even under less severe rainfall conditions, residents report having to sit on their tin-roofed dwellings to avoid being swept up with the tide or contracting water-borne diseases from stagnant floodwaters.
With a growing population and insecure job opportunities, Praia Nova also faces a dearth of basic service provision such as fresh drinking water, sanitation, and drainage networks.
With support from the GCF, the city of Beira is refurbishing the 20 de Agosto Market in Praia Nova and supporting the voluntary and dignified relocation of families at risk of climate displacement to safer ground.
In addition to providing space for vendors, the refurbished 20 de Agosto Market will serve as a multipurpose disaster management hub. The Market will include an emergency shelter for residents with impaired mobility and will be a base of operations for Beira’s local Committee for the Management and Reduction of Risks of Disasters in Praia Nova. As part of the project, the committee will receive training and equipment to strengthen its technical capabilities.
Beira’s project will also create pathways for the dignified and voluntary relocation of 30 households from Praia Nova’s highest flood risk area to less vulnerable territory in Muave. Beira will provide specially designed housing to relocated families, which will include a plot of land to grow food. The city is also in the process of finalizing infrastructure and service provision in Muave, including bore holes for water, roads, electricity and a cold storage system to reduce the distance people have to travel to preserve and prepare fish for the market. The project team is prioritizing sustainable construction practices, such as reusing stones and sand from coastal protection activities for housing.
Albano Carige, Mayor of Beira
Thanks to the support of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees, Beira will complete long overdue repairs to the Praia Nova market.
Through the GCF, Beira has repaired key infrastructure damaged in past storms, providing renovated space for vendors, a base of operations for the neighborhood’s Disaster Management Committee, and emergency shelter for people with mobility impairments. The city has also provided capacity building for Praia Nova’s local Disaster Management Committee, improving their readiness to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and help community members adapt to climate change.
As part of the relocation component, the city has identified thirty families, an estimated 150 people, who have volunteered to relocate to safe and permanent housing in Muave, setting the stage for a resilient and sustainable future for 1,000 families in the years ahead.
The city is in active talks with multilateral development banks to further develop Muave so that it is suitable for more families.
Arcacédio Chihanhe, Architect and Coordinator of the Praia Resilience Project.
After the market was damaged, people were selling their fish out under the sun. We can see the people of Praia Nova are very excited and happy about the project
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