The Japanese government says it has approved $110 million to finance a viability study looking at the demolition of homes near Maputo’s biggest rubbish dump in the neighbourhood of Hulene where at least 17 people killed in February.The tragedy occurred after heavy rains caused the partial collapse of a 15-metre high pile of rubbish tip at the site.
Japan’s Minister of the Environment, Tadahiko Ito made the announcement in Maputo on Friday after meeting with his Mozambican counterpart, Celso Correia.
“When we (Japan) learnt that the landfill would be closed, we expressed our desire to enter into a partnership with our Mozambican counterparts to protect the safety of local people and fund a viability study on the closure of the dumpsite” Ito said.
He said his meeting with the Mozambican minister also reached agreements on capacity building, transferring technology, and attracting Japanese investment in solid waste management and recycling.
According to him Japan is convinced that the accords will translate into effective results on the ground.
The Hulene dump, the only official dumpsite for Maputo’s 3.5 million people is located in a densely populated neighbourhood covering around 17 hectares.
Heavy rains caused part of the dump to collapse in February destroying seven houses and killing 17 people.
The chance for another disaster prompted the Maputo Municipal Council to decide to demolish all houses in the immediate vicinity of the dumpsite and ensure that nobody return to live there.
It plans to resettle people still living near the dumpsite in Bobole, in Marracuene district, about 30 kilometres north of Maputo.