Consortium to detail flood protection scheme Beira, Mozambique
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has appointed a consortium comprising of Deltares, Royal HaskoningDHV, Witteveen+Bos, Metier, and Partners for Resilience to enhance the coastal resilience of the city of Beira, Mozambique, to extreme climate events. The consortium will conduct a feasibility study and make a preliminary design of a coastal protection scheme for Beira.
In 2019, Beira was devastated by Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 750 people, damaged 90 percent of the city’s infrastructure, including the country’s main port, and left large areas under water. This event has triggered a stimulus to activate support and resources to implement interventions to strengthen the city’s readiness to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the future impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
The post-cyclone recovery includes the further extension of the drainage system in the city, improvement of the water utilities and a better coastal protection against flooding.
In 2014 the city adopted the Beira Masterplan 2035 that set out an integrated vision on the future development of the city’s spatial planning. The plan included elements as the increasing water demand, new housing constructions in low lying parts of the city and port developments. Immediately after cyclone Idai, this masterplan has been updated with the city’s climate resiliency as an overarching component.
Jointly financed by the World Bank and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Coastal Protection Preparation Project was initiated to develop a strategy to protect Beira and its over 600,000 citizens against sea hazards, flooding, and other climate-related disasters.
The newly commissioned Dutch-Mozambican consortium has been tasked to prepare a feasibility study including a preliminary design for the selected preferred coastal protection scheme for Beira, and is financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency through the Develop2Build (D2B) programme, with Administração de Infra-Estruturas de Águas e Saneamento (AIAS) acting as implementing agency.
Consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV will lead the overall project, design and project management process out of its offices in Mozambique and The Netherlands.
Urgently needed improvements
Technical lead Odelinde Nieuwenhuis at Royal HaskoningDHV stresses the urgency of a better coastal protection. ‘Climate change, economic and population growth, coastal erosion, and urban sprawl has made Beira and its inhabitants more vulnerable than ever, especially to cyclones.’
‘A significant improvement of the coastal protection scheme is needed’, Nieuwenhuis added, ‘to provide sufficient protection for Beira against sea hazards for decades to come. This improvement aims to not only protect Beira and its citizens, but to also add value to the spatial quality and stimulate desired socioeconomic and nature developments.’
Dutch knowledge institute Deltares will be responsible for the hazard assessment, and will be involved in stakeholder management based on its network, previous project experiences in Beira, and its in-depth knowledge of coastal erosion and flooding hazards.
Technical coordinator João de Lima Rego at Deltares: ‘We are really looking forward to contributing with our hazard modelling skills, which include coastal erosion and coastal flooding. The challenge in this project is to include both normal and cyclone conditions, and to consider both present conditions as well as a future under climate change.’
Engineering and consultancy firm Witteveen+Bos will contribute to socio-economic assessments and the design process.
Metier, a Mozambican consulting company with strong experience in infrastructure development and maintenance, strategic and institutional issues in the region will lead the institutional analysis and discussions.
Finally, Partners for Resilience, led by the Netherlands Red Cross, will act as independent observer to ensure that the needs of local communities form the core of the coastal protection plan for Beira.