Maputo, Mozambique, 25 June 2022 – A decree issued by the Government of Mozambique today will ensure that all new and existing schools in the country comply with resiliency standards that will help the country combat climate change.
The “Decree for Resilient Building Standards of Schools” was approved on 26 October 2021 by the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) and Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources (MOPHRH).
The initiative, which received financial support from the World Bank, is being launched in partnership between UN-Habitat, the National Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (INGD), as well as MINEDH and MOPHRH.
Building resilience of public social infrastructures is aligned with the global UN-Habitat mandate, particularly in helping Member States in coping with climate change and working with all to localise the Sustainable Development Goals.
UN-Habitat in Mozambique has attained a large number of notable achievements in capacity building support and knowledge and technology transfer in normative and operational activities focusing on disaster risk reduction and build back better activities, particularly addressing them as an opportunity to make communities stronger and resilient to natural disasters.
Addressing the opening of the launching event, Mr. Manuel Bazo, the Vice Minister of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) said “this Decree is the result of the joint efforts of the Government of Mozambique with the support of the UN-Habitat in promoting a culture of resilience in the country, where there is a setback in economic gains due to cyclical destruction of school buildings as result of disasters.”
“This decree is integrated within the national normative frameworks for public social infrastructures and will enforce the compliance of environmental and social safeguards in construction of school buildings,” he added.
Sandra Roque, Head of UN-Habitat in Mozambique, said announcing this decree to add resiliency to construction in the education sector constitutes an important milestone in the efforts of the Government of Mozambique towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This achievement is especially important,” she stressed, “at a time when Mozambique is witnessing a significant increase in frequency and magnitude of climatic events that put public social infrastructures at risk.”
This decree is the result of the UN-Habitat initiative entitled “Safer Schools Programme” that started in 2012 with the financial support of the World Bank. The Safer Schools Programme included the development of guidelines for infrastructure resiliency to counter recurrent natural hazards such as Cyclones, Strong Winds and Floods.
The guidelines have been piloted since 2015 by MINEDH and MOPHRH with the support of UN-Habitat to construct and retrofit schools. As result of the successful piloting, the Safer Schools approach was scaled up in 2017.
Since then, the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) has demanded the application of the guidelines, an outcome that triggered the elaboration of the Decree for Resilient Construction of Schools.
When the Country was hit hard by Cyclones Idai and Keneth in 2019, the Minister of Education and Human Development reported to the Cabinet and to UN-Habitat Executive Director during her mission to Mozambique in April that: “All schools built according to the UN-Habitat proposed standards resisted Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.”
For additional information, contact:
Mr. Juan Ignacio Martinez Hurtado, UN-Habitat Climate Resilience and Building Back Better Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcia Guambe, UN-Habitat Communications and Advocacy Coordinator: email@example.com