Situated in Southern Africa, Mozambique belongs to the least developed countries in Africa. Its total population is estimated at 26.5 million people; of these, 32 per cent live in its 43 urban municipalities. The main cities where the majority of the population live are situated along the coastline. This makes them particularly susceptible to hurricanes and storm surges.

The current crisis makes the situation in the country even more dramatic after Cyclone Idai reached the country's coastline and left a great deal of destruction behind. The countryside surrounding of the coastal town of Beira, Mozambique's fourth largest city, was hit particularly hard. More than 400,000 people lost their homes in the tropical storm. Houses, schools, and hospitals are destroyed. According to estimates, 90 per cent of the buildings in Beira were damaged or destroyed. The massive floods reached far inland and cut off hundreds of thousands of people from the outside world.

In Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city, which was not affected by the Cyclone, some 75 per cent of the urban population lives in “bairros” with limited or no services and very basic concrete blockhouses. In secondary cities the situation is especially acute, where unregulated, informal settlements make up roughly 90 per cent of municipal territory.

PSUP Contributions and Achievements

PSUP Phase 3’s pilot projects are being implemented in the Muhala neighbourhood of Nampula, Mozambique’s third largest urban centre after Maputo and Beira. Nampula is called the capital of northern Mozambique. Our projects are the result of the citywide slum upgrading strategy and its policy review. The city has been growing rapidly from 54,000 inhabitants in 1970, to 480,000 in 2007. It is estimated that the city will have almost one million inhabitants by 2020. This will result in tremendous pressure on urban land and infrastructure, as well as municipal services.

This has necessitated the adoption of the Citywide Slum Upgrading and Prevention Strategy developed during Phase 2 of the programme and that has resulted in the implementation of pilot projects in Phase 3. PSUP has been complemented by UN-Habitat’s Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD) programme which is an urban development programme with a strong focus on city planning but also with proposals for upgrading of informal settlements.

The Phase 3 implementation activities in Muhala are focusing on addressing water and sanitation as part of the five deprivations of slum dwellers and will have components of waste management, climate change mitigation, local economic development, participatory neighbourhood planning and disaster risk management. As part of the implementation of these projects, the residents of Muhala, through community cooperatives, have embraced the Community Managed Funds to undertake low-level infrastructure projects within their neighbourhoods. These are aimed at improving their living conditions, creating employment and building capacity among community members through skills training. The Municipal Council of Nampula has co-financed the PSUP in Mozambique with a contribution of USD 150,000, while the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, through the Provincial Government of Nampula, has contributed USD 100,000. This contribution represents a valuable collaboration between government institutions, reinforcing the sustainability of the slum upgrading actions through financing and budgetary prioritization by central and local governments.