Mozambican Adaptation ProjectMozambique has seen the capabilities of climate change first-hand. Rainwater from northern watersheds often cause massive floods that destroys the property of 22 million Mozambicans living on the coast. Seasonal rains, cyclones and tropical storms also pose threats to inhabitants of the coastline. Heavy rains often disrupt the energy supply in Northern Mozambique. Cyclones bring strong winds, torrential rains, and storms that cause landslides, coastal and inland erosion.

As a result of climate change, rainfall becomes unpredictable, and extreme weather occurrences like drought that occur every three to four years become more frequent. Flooding and cyclones threaten the health and economic stability of many Mozambicans. In 2015, flooding affected 160,000 people, displaced 50,000 and killed 159 in central and northern Mozambique. Furthermore, the country suffered great economic damage to infrastructure, as flooding collapsed roads and bridges.

Mozambique’s mangrove forest in Bon Sinais River, Icidua, Quelimane has completely flattened out as locals use the trees for building and fuel, and the clear space for harvesting salt. Mangroves protect communities that have improperly built homes that are incapable of withstanding strong winds.

USAID funded the Mozambican adaptation project by equipping five municipalities: Pemba, Quelimane, Nacala, Mozambique Island and Mocimboa de Praia. Throughout the next few years, the Coastal City Adaptation Project (CCAP) will see more than 200,000 mangrove trees planted on 37 acres in Icidua, resulting in decreased erosion and flood prevention and an increase in fishing.

Pemba, Mozambique has witnessed the heaviest rainfall in 40 years destroy the homes of its community. The Mozambican adaptation project will commence dune restoration and a phone-based early warning system that allows communities to quickly learn about and prepare for disaster. This emergency response system will prevent flooding damages that have previously destroyed the homes and taken the lives of many.

If the Mozambican adaptation project cannot combat climate change, by 2075 semi-arid and arid areas can expect a 2-3 percent increase in solar radiation and a 9-13 percent increase in evapotranspiration. Mozambique will see an overall 2-9 percent decrease in precipitation and a 5-15 percent decrease in precipitation during the rainy season from November to May.

Tiffany Santos

Photo: Flickr