Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza pledged on Saturday that the government will continue to seek funding for a dam at Mapai, in the southern province of Gaza, that will help control the flow of the Limpopo river.
The Mapai dam has been projected for many years. It is regarded as of vital importance for mitigating the impact of flooding in the Limpopo valley.
In the floods of last January, at least 47 people died in the Limpopo valley, and the entire city of Chókwè was submerged.
“It is crucial that we have a dam at Mapai”, said Guebuza, at a press conference in the town of Macia marking the end of his “Open and Inclusive Presidency” in Gaza. “The problem is not that we lack the will, or that there is no blueprint for a dam. The problem is much more that of money”.
“The government will not cease looking for sources of finance so that the dam is built”, he stressed. It was also key, he added, to repair the dykes that were breached during the January floods. This work has already begun, said the President.
Guebuza noted that, despite the damage caused by the floods, the people of Gaza had rolled up their sleeves, and resumed their normal social and economic activities. “A short while ago, this area suffered major flooding, but it has stood up again as if nothing had happened”.
He said he had also been impressed by the enthusiasm shown at the rallies he had addressed. The people, he argued, showed they understand that the government is attempting to pull them from poverty, and that they too have a role to play in this effort.
Useful proposals had been made. Thus at a rally in Machaila locality, in Chigubo district, residents had proposed that the local population itself should inspect building works, particularly on roads, which are often built without any quality. “We shall think about this”, promised the President.
For Guebuza, Mozambicans should take over ownership of development processes, influence decisions and supervise their implementation. “When the people reach this level, we shall have a Mozambique that is not running, but flying', he declared.
Guebuza also stressed the importance of self-esteem. People should feel “they they must not be ashamed of liking themselves and liking what they do”.