Beira, Mozambique 9 July 2020 – The home of 23-year-old Bile Marrissane Valentim was almost destroyed by the high winds of Cyclone Idai which caused widespread devastation.

“During the night, the roof was ripped off by the wind. We kept holding the walls until dawn waiting for the wind to stop,” said Bile who lived in the home with his wife, toddler daughter and five brothers and sisters..

The cyclone which struck the central region of Mozambique in March 2019 left devastation in its wake with over 13,599 houses being destroyed and more than 4,800 badly damaged  

UN-Habitat scaled-up its activities to support the Government in reconstruction activities and in January 2020, the project “Promoting Resilient Recovery of Housing and Infrastructures in Communities affected by Cyclones in Mozambique” was launched. The project, implemented with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims to support the establishment of models and technical standards for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of resilient housing and infrastructures in urban affected areas.

Technical workshops were organized to reach a consensus on resilient housing models and standards   with the Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet (GREPOC), the National Institution for Calamity Management (INGC), Eduardo Mondlane University and the Municipality of Dondo (Sofala Province in the central region). To test these standards, two models were piloted (one rehabilitation and one retrofitting), including Bile’s roof in Nhamaiábwe, one of the most affected neighbourhoods where 3,315 houses were destroyed. One resilient house was built in Dondo.

 Vulnerable beneficiaries were selected with the Municipality and the community using criteria as socio-economic conditions, location, conditions for issuance of occupation land right and structural conditions of the houses for the rehabilitation works.

The three resilient models were handed over to the beneficiaries by the President of the Municipality of Dondo , in an official ceremony on 16 June 16 with UN-Habitat’s Head of Programme in Mozambique Wild Do Rosario, Zefanias Chitsungo from GREPOC, Ghulam Sherani from UNDP, local artisans, and beneficiaries and their families.

Carpenters and masons from Dondo who worked on this project were trained by UN-Habitat’s staff and received a certificate during the ceremony.

While the pilot intervention was only implemented in Dondo, it aims to support the Government of Mozambique with its response to housing recovery in communities affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, in the central and northern regions of the country.

“I had never seen this type of roof. It looks very different from before. With this rehabilitation we feel safer, no wind will be able to take this roof off,” said Bile.