Dutch Hydraulic interventions in Mozambique; towards sustainable governance within the water-land nexus

Researcher: Murtah Read




Beira, located in the Pungwe delta, is Mozambique’s second largest city and one of Africa’s most climate-vulnerable. Sea level rise, seasonal inundation and tropical storms routinely cause sever social, material and economic disruption. Sustainable development in Beira is therefore intimately linked to the issue of flood protection. As a city in one of Africa’s least developed countries however, the municipality is by no means financially or institutionally equipped to deal with these threats. An issue which is further compounded by historically antagonistic relations between the central government and the municipality. As a result Beira is heavily dependent on the involvement of external actors (donors, multilateral organizations, private sector etc.) for adaptation strategies which are by nature novel and experimental.


It is against this background that this research seeks to analyze the various actors, interests, mechanisms and local impacts associated with urban climate change interventions in Beira. It will seek to answer questions such as; which interests shape urban climate change interventions in Beira? Which coalitions and strategies are most effective? What are the subsequent changes in land and water governance associated with urban climate change interventions? And ultimately, how can the local sustainable development outcomes of such interventions be enhanced? By answering these questions the research seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of the complex dynamics, local preconditions, and associated impacts of urban climate change interventions in aid dependent countries. In doing so it will provide constructive policy input into the ‘learning by doing’ of urban climate change adaptation within the context of international development cooperation.