Situation before the initiative began
Manjangue is situated in the Macarretane Administrative Post, Chókwè District, in Gaza Province in
Southern Mozambique. According to theII Population Census carried out in
1997,Chókwè District has a population of 173 277 inhabitants, most of
whom undertake subsistence agriculture and cattle raising. The district
has a surface of approximately 2 600 km², and it has an altitude which
ranges from 16 to 100m, where the lowest lands are found in bordering
riverbanks(Limpopo and Mazimuchope), and highlands have an altitude of
more than 80m. According to Koppën's classification, the climate of the
districtis of the Bs (semiarid) tropical type, with rains all over the
year(600 - 660mm), and an average temperature of 23.5°c.
Before the floods, Chókwè had a high agricultural potential, with an
irrigation system and minimum social infrastructures established. Its
geographic location allowed for its good integration within the market
network in Southern Mozambique. Despite these important factors, its
population lived under poor conditions; a general feature of the
During the floods in Southern and Central Mozambique, Chókwè was one of
the regions that was most affected, having been totally submersed. The
floods affected directly nearly 100% of its population. The several
factors that may have contributed to this high percentage of affected
people included vulnerability of settlements; as these were situated in
lowlands near riverbanks, the spontaneous character of the floods and
cultural aspects associated with local traditions.
Establishment Of Priorities
For the short term, the Reconstruction Programme envisaged at providing people with plots of land
already with infrastructures, definition of standards and modalities of
access to housing, establishment of basic sanitation conditions, provision
of definitive housing, beginning of establishment of basic infrastructures
and construction of main access roads.
For the medium term, it is expected to complete the establishment of basic
infrastructures,to provide and stabilize technical assistance and
construction equipment for secondary roads. At the same time, trees will
be planted, and expansion conditions of the area will be catered for.
For the long term, it is expected that the urbanistic level of the
resettlement area will be upgraded, through improvement of standards of
infrastructures and social equipment.
Formulation of Objectives and strategies
In order to allow
for implementation of an integrated programme, seminars and workshops were
held with the aim of defining actions/activities to be undertaken and the
levels of co-ordination to be adopted at the inter-sector level of
government institutions (MOPH - Ministry of Public Works and Housing,
MISAU- Ministry of Health, MICOA - Ministry for Co-ordination of
Environmental Action, INGC - National Institute for Disasters Management,
MMCAS- Ministry for Women Affairs and Co-ordination of Social Work and
others),in association with community participation and support from the
international community and NGOs.
The envisaged actions were meant to enable social integration of new
families in the local community and bring back minimum habitability and
safety conditions to the affected populations. They were also meant to
involve the communities in the construction of their own houses. This
helped to establish a technical/professional capacity within the families
in the activities in which they were involved (carpentry, brick laying,
brick making and construction of improved latrines), and to ensure the
populations'sustainability and future subsistence. In addition, the
activities envisaged at creating an institutional capacity at the
Administrative Post, so as to be able to prevent future conflicts and
Given the fact that the populations live under very poor conditions, there
was the need to combine the reconstruction project with other components
that might contribute to reduce their vulnerability, such as land tenure
security,housing ownership title, appropriate basic services and
environmental principles relating to sanitation.
Mobilization Of Resources
Mobilizations both financial and human resources was undertaken through appeals made by the government at national and international conferences. At the international level,
following the appeal by the Mozambican government in Rome, the country
managed to raise reconstruction funds estimated at US$17 million. In
addition to financial support, several countries provided assistance in
terms of human resources (volunteers), construction kits, clothes, food,
tents,etc. At the internal level, the civil society, national
organizations,state and private companies were actively involved in fund
raising campaigns to support the victims.
Several problems came about when finding a resettlement area in Manjangue, since the place selected to establish the project was being inhabited by other families-and used for farming. This
fact meant that local families had also to be included in the resettlement
project. In addition, they had to agree to surrender part of their
cultivation fields to be distributed to those affected by the floods. In
order to overcome the problems, awareness-raising campaigns were carried
out to the local community, so that they could surrender the plots after
harvest,thus ensuring their integration into the project as beneficiary
families with regard to new houses.
In the reconstruction process, the community
was involved in all implementation stages, namely the selection of the new
place for resettlement, land clearance, construction of houses (brick
making,establishment of foundations, provision of sand and water for
brick making, digging holes for construction of improved latrines, keeping
and taking care of materials used in the construction of houses), thus
contributing to the community project.
To ensure a fast implementation of the construction project, community
leaders established inter-family union mechanisms of mutual support. Only
after each family's participation in the whole process was assessed, was
the family given the house, through issue of a concession document
granting them its provisional use (i.e., a credit system based on the
assessment of the participation of each beneficiary family).
The DNHU participated in the Reconstruction Process in Manjangue, through
identification and selection of a safe area, drawing up of an urbanization
plan,demarcation and distribution of plots, drawing up and making
available the project concerning the type of houses to be built, provision
of cement for brick making and construction of houses, improved latrines,
watercourses, as well as establishment of some social infrastructures
(schools and a market). Also, at the internal level, mechanisms were set
unto ensure exemption of customs taxes to imports of necessary
construction materials, as well as follow-up and monitoring activities of
the construction process.
MEDAIR participation in the process can be summed up as having been of
conception of the project, provision of specialized personnel and
community training, purchase of accessories and other construction
materials and instruments. It was also in charge of the physical
implementation of the project.
The house construction project in Manjangue comprised four stages,
according to the different activities that were carried out. Stage 1 was
basically for identification of the place for resettlement of the people,
land clearance and physical planning (drawing up of the urbanisation plan,
demarcation and distribution of plots, ensuring professionalism in
construction and correct location of houses with respect to roads,
latrines,water sources and other social structures). The size of each
plotis of 30m x 40m.
Stage2 comprised the selection of beneficiaries, provision, transport and
storage of working materials and instruments, community mobilization
(recruitment and training of local personnel).
Stage3 consisted of construction of houses. This stage was subdivided
into two sub-stages. During the first one, 300 houses were built. In the
second sub-stage, in addition to the construction of 127 houses, other
activities included improvement of the walls and flooring of all 427
houses,construction of classrooms, demarcation of plots using concrete
landmarks,establishment of roads and a drainage system, as well as tree
The people trained to build the houses were divided into 14 working teams
(10people in each team), controlled by 7 supervisors (each supervisor was
in charge of 2 teams), and each team had 2 weeks to finish building each
house.The construction process was according to the serial production
criterion,in that when one team was establishing foundations, another
made bricks, and the one working in carpentry would be working on roofing
and putting windows and doors in place.
Stage4 comprised distribution of houses to beneficiaries. This process
was followed by officially issuing the beneficiaries with a land tenure
and housing ownership title.
After completion of the houses, the material
used in the process was left with the community, so that house expansion
activities could be continued, as the involvement of the beneficiaries in
the construction process has established a community capacity in terms of
production techniques regarding construction materials. Community training
will not only allow for the continuation of the expansion of the village.
It has also provided the people with a capacity to promote
With this project, other job-generating and/or community aid enterprises
and infrastructures will easily be established in the region, as this area
will now be an attraction point for the populations, something that can
lead to establishment of new infrastructures or improvement of the current
ones.Indeed, the permanent infrastructures built in the region can be
thought of as a long-term investment.
The development of any community project must involve in all its aspects the beneficiary community from conception to implementation, so that the community feels part of the process and
responsible for the maintenance of the enterprise.
The co-ordination that was established between the several intervening
parties allowed for exchange of experiences and reduction of
implementation costs, and just to end the participation of the community
inthe several implementation stages of the project should here be
References:Governo de Moçambique; Programa de Reconstrução Pós-Cheias
(ConferênciaInternacional para a Reconstrução em Roma), April 2000,
Maputo - Mozambique;
MedAir,Projecto de Auxílio e Reconstrução das Comunidades Deslocadas,
July2000, Gaza Province, Mozambique.
Instituto Nacional de Estatística, II Recenseamento Geral da População e
Habitação- Gaza Province,1997, Maputo- Mozambique
ACNUR/PNUD,Perfil de Desenvolvimento Distrital do Distrito do Chókwè,
Gaza Province, December 1997, Maputo- Mozambique.
VALÁ.Salimo, A História da Posse de Terra na Região Agrária de Chókwè (BA
Hons.Dissertation in History), 1996, UEM. Maputo, Mozambique.
Jornal Notícias, Várias publicações (several articles), 2001, Maputo-