Mozambique: World Bank Grant for Maputo Transformation

Maputo — The World Bank on Thursday approved a grant of 100 million US dollars to support the Mozambican government's Maputo Urban Transformation Project.

According to a World Bank press release, this project "will finance critical urban infrastructure investments in the city and support the implementation of municipal reforms".

The World Bank's country director for Mozambique, Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, cited in the release, said "This investment will ultimately contribute to harness the role of Maputo as the country's economic powerhouse by investing in urban infrastructure and services, while supporting critical reforms to ensure that urbanization in Maputo can contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction, and structural transformation."

"Urbanization has not benefited everyone equally in Maputo as the city has expanded informally, without effective urban planning and the necessary investments in basic infrastructure and land tenure security," said André Herzog, Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader. "Most of the project's funds will benefit the urban poor by investing in the upgrading of informal settlements."

The project will finally eliminate the vast, and lethally dangerous, rubbish dump in Hulene neighbourhood. A collapse of part of the dump after heavy rains in February 2018 killed seven people, as a mountain of foul-smelling garbage overwhelmed homes built illegally at the foot of the dump. Part of the World Bank money will go towards building a landfill that will replace the Hulene dump.

The money also includes funds for implementing an urban plan for KaTembe, the municipal district that faces the centre of the city across the Bay of Maputo. This is where most future urban growth is expected to occur.

The plan, the World Bank release says "includes land demarcation, construction of priority urban infrastructures, and implementation of sites-and-services for low income families."

It claims that "this component will create incentives for better solid waste management services, restore livelihoods for informal waste pickers, and increase reuse or recycling practices".

Some of the World Bank grant will go towards mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable strata of the Maputo population

The grant will be provided through the International Development Association (IDA), which provides grants and soft loans for projects in the world's poorest countries.

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