The support project for the upgrading of the Chamanculo C neighborhood in the Mozambican capital resulted from a cooperation agreement signed between the Municipality of Maputo, the Brazilian Government, the Italian Government and the Cities Alliance, with the support of the Bank World. The project was inspired by the rehabilitation experience of the Alagados neighborhood in Salvador (Brazil), carried out by the Italian NGO AVSI, which was also a central partner in the Mozambican initiative. Based on the methodology used in Brazil, the project in Chamanculo C consisted of a pilot experience in Mozambique, contributing to the consolidation of the national intervention policy in informal settlements, developed in parallel to the initiative.
Informal occupations of the territory and precarious urban settlements prevail in many countries of the global south. Among the causes of this situation are the absence of sound housing policies in urbanization contexts, the expansion of rural-urban migration flows and the persistence of poverty.
According to UN-Habitat, more than one million people live in Maputo, 75% of which are in informal neighborhoods with precarious or non-existent urban infrastructure and services. Such settlements are often located in inappropriate areas, prone to flooding, generating and exacerbating risk situations. The mitigation of this framework requires a broad program of gradual improvement, capable of involving and integrating different sectoral policies and investments related to housing. Indeed, the proposal of the "Maputo Municipality's Urban Structure Plan" (PEUMM) recognizes that "the injustice of this situation is unsustainable" and that "it is indispensable to assign to informal neighborhood redevelopment operations an absolute priority in budgetary allocations; to create the technical mechanisms and institutional organization necessary for the great battle for a city without slums, thus responding to the global strategies of which Mozambique is a signatory.
Implemented between 2008 and 2016, the project to support the requalification of the Chamanculo C neighborhood aimed at transferring expertise and knowledge to face the precariousness of housing in Maputo and Mozambique. More precisely, the project aimed to contribute to improving the quality of life of the population of Chamanculo C, through the elaboration and application of an integrated and participatory urban requalification methodology. The project was structured around four main axes:
- Preparation of studies and plans;
- Promotion of local development;
- Institutional strengthening and project supervision; and
- Execution of priority works.
The intervention methodology in the territory consisted of a combination of urban-housing, environmental and socio-economic actions, developed with broad participation of the local population, and included the realization of priority infrastructures and the execution of the local development plan (prioritization of actions to be implemented, financing of projects devised by local associations, socioeconomic, educational and health initiatives, and strengthening of community associations).
In parallel to the physical and social interventions in the neighborhood of Chamanculo C, the project sought to support institutional strengthening and the structuring of broader public policies, focusing on municipal administration, through the training of human resources and the formulation of plans and projects. Specifically, the project contributed to the design of a municipal intervention strategy in informal settlements (in synergy with the "Maputo City Urban Planning Plan"), for the elaboration of process manuals and procedures, as well as for the introduction of environmental and social safeguards policies.
Throughout the project, activities of consultation, dissemination, and evaluation of the experience with the community were carried out, using focal groups, spoken maps, annual participatory evaluation surveys, and systematization and analysis of indicators, among others. In addition, the partners took responsibility for the overall supervision of the implemented initiatives, with meetings of the Quadripartite Committee and technical missions of Brazil and Italy, twice a year.
On the Brazilian side: Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA) and Ministry of Cities
On the Italian side: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Directorate-General for Cooperation for Development)
International Partners: Cities Alliance and World Bank
AVSI Foundation and Municipality of Maputo
Regional Advisor, Latin America and the Caribbean