Maputo — The central Mozambican city of Beira still needs 685 million US dollars to ensure minimal recovery from the effects of cyclone Idai, which smashed into the city on 14 March, according to the Mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, cited by the independent newssheet "Mediafax".
Speaking at Tuesday's commemorations of the 112th anniversary of Beira's elevation to the status of a city, Simango said that 91 million dollars are needed for coastal protection and 193 million to restore and expand the city's drainage system.
"The coastal protection of Beira must be brought up to a minimally acceptable level if the city is to have a future", warned the Mayor. "The current breakwater system needs to be updated, and sand is required for the beach in the short term. Drainage is also extremely important".
Simango added that 49 million dollars are needed to restore and upgrade the city's sanitation system, 28 million dollars to guarantee a minimally functional solid waste management system, and 37 million dollars to rehabilitate the city's roads and public spaces.
Housing and other aspects of human settlement need 275 million dollars according to the calculations made by Beira municipal staff, with the support of international partners. 12 million dollars will be needed to repair various municipal buildings.
Simango said that Beira businesses had been affected not only by the cyclone, but also by the economic fallout from the scandal of Mozambique's "hidden debts".
"I know that it is difficult to guarantee businesses and jobs", he said, "because the business environment has been affected by a fragile economic conjuncture created by illegal debts, postponing the dream of a nation, the dream of a generation, and mortgaging the future of the nation".