Maputo — Mozambican Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita on Wednesday laid the first stone for the reconstruction for the jetty at the town of Maxixe, in the southern province of Inhambane, which was severely damaged by Cyclone Dineo in February 2017.
The jetty is vital for the ferry service between Maxixe and Inhambane city. Although a temporary jetty, made of local materials, was hastily erected after the cyclone, the two large ferry boats that usually carry passengers between the two cities cannot moor at it. These two boats, the “Magaluti” and the “Baia de Inhambane” have been paralysed since the cyclone, and so passengers have depended on small, unsafe vessels to make the crossing.
The reconstruction of the jetty should take three months, and will cost 36.8 million meticais (about 605,000 US dollars), financed by the Japanese government. The contractor is the Portuguese company Teixeira Duarte.
Cited by the independent daily “O Pais”, Mesquita said he hoped that, with the reconstruction of the jetty, the normal ferry service between Inhambane and Maxixe will resume, including night crossings of the bay, which were suspended in the aftermath of the cyclone.
The new ferry will come as a great relief to students and workers, who live in one of the cities but study or work in the other. At night, they have to take the overland route between Maxixe and Inhambane, which is lengthy, expensive and time-consuming.
“We are here to mark the immediate take-off of the construction work”, said Mesquita. “This is the culmination of our work to raise the finance for the jetty, in recognition of the social role it plays for the more than 3,000 people who cross the bay every day”.
He said that crossings will become safer when the large ferries return to service, reducing the pressure on the many small boats that have been transporting people and goods between Maxixe and Inhambane for the past year.
Mesquita also informed his audience that by the end of March the Maxixe and Inhambane municipal councils will receive new buses to strengthen the fleet of the municipal bus company.