World Bank approves grant for Maputo urban renewal project

The World Bank has approved a US$100-million grant to support an urban renewal project that is set to transform the…

The World Bank has approved a US$100-million grant to support an urban renewal project that is set to transform the Mozambican capital Maputo.World Bank country director for Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Seychelles, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough said the funds from the bank’s International Development Association would go towards implementation of the Maputo Urban Transformation Project.

The project aims to finance critical urban infrastructure investments in the city and support the implementation of municipal reforms.

“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 urbanisation in Maputo can contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction, and structural transformation,” Pswarayi-Riddihough said in a statement on Friday.

She noted that urbanisation is “an essential part of most nations’ development, contributing to faster poverty reduction, stronger economic growth, and a climate resilient future.”

Urbanisation 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.

The bulk of the World Bank grant is, therefore, expected to benefit the urban poor by investing in the upgrading of informal settlements.

The project is also expected to tackle two of the challenges Maputo faces through the construction of the city’s first sanitary landfill and the decommissioning of the Hulene dumpsite, as well as the implementation of an urban plan for KaTembe Municipal District where most future urban growth is expected to take place.

The latter includes land demarcation, construction of priority urban infrastructure, and implementation of sites-and-services for low income families.

This component will create incentives for better solid waste management services, restore livelihoods for informal waste pickers, and increase reuse or recycling practices, the bank said.

In addition, the project is expected to invest in access to safe water and sanitation.