The Mozambican government plans to embark on a national programme to ensure the resilience of bridges to extreme weather events; Public Works, Housing and Water Resources Minister João Machatine has revealed.
Speaking on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, Machatine said that the decision to develop a bridge safety strategy has been necessitated by the persistent destruction of the country’s bridges and other infrastructure by increasingly frequent floods.
Extreme weather events, such as this year’s Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, triggered floods that damaged some 107 bridges across the country, costing several millions of dollars in repairs.
“It is necessary to change the paradigm. We cannot continue to allow the bridges to be destroyed and paralyze the country,” Machatine said on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.
According to the minister, the combination of the destruction of bridges due to extreme weather events and overloading severely constrain road traffic, causing huge costs for the population and state budget.
He said the problem of overloading has contributed to the destruction of 15 bridges in the past five years, costing 19.4 million dollars in rehabilitation works.
Mozambique has 1 297 bridges, of which 1 115 are conventional while 143 are metal bridges and 39 are made of wood.