Maputo — Mozambique's Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Office has warned that rebuilding the central city of Beira should be seen as an exercise aimed at recovering what was destroyed by the cyclone, and not as a bonanza for Mozambican building companies.
The Reconstruction Office will therefore impose strict procurement rules and criteria, according to its executive director, Francisco Pereira, who was a member of the Mozambican delegation to the Fourth Special Thematic Session of the United Nations on Water and Disasters in New York.
Pereira said that rebuilding Beira, which was struck by cyclone Idai on 14 March, will rely both on Mozambique's own resources and on funds granted by foreign partners. This meant there are rules which cannot be avoided and which the Reconstruction Office does not wish to avoid.
"There must be tenders", sad Pereira, "and to take part in the tenders companies must present themselves with the capacities they can develop internally, or in partnership with foreign companies". Mozambican building companies have already been advised to organise themselves without delay so that they can undertake a great part of the work of reconstruction.
The Reconstruction Office, he added, wants to see full involvement of Mozambican companies, but recognises that there is a shortfall in capacity which will have to be acquired through partnerships.
Asked about areas in which Mozambican companies do not have proven expertise, such as coastal protection. Pereira recognised that businesses from countries such as Holland would be best prepared to meet the demand for large scale work along the Beira coast, and the Reconstruction Office fully accepted this.
Idai was the most severe cyclone in the southern hemisphere in the past 20 years. In Mozambique it caused the deaths of over 600 people, and destroyed or damaged over 240,000 houses.