Maputo authorities demolish houses near deadly dumpsite

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

A picture of people on the dump clearing the rubble
Some dump collapse left 150 families homesless

Authorities in Mozambique's capital Maputo say they have demolished 150 houses near a rubbish dump which collapsed two weeks ago killing at least 17 people - including children.

They said demolitions would continue in areas around the Hulene dumpsite and a further 300 homes would be affected.

The 19 February collapse happened after a pile of waste, some 15m (49ft) high, gave way in heavy rains.

Some 150 families were left homeless.

The dump is known to be home to some of the city's poorest residents, who build makeshift camps amid the rubbish.

Ivete Maibasse, a state official in charge of land and environment, said the demolitions were aimed at ensuring that the dwellers don’t return to the risky area.

She said the displaced families will be resettled.

Mozambique suspension bridge delay

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Maputo-Catembe Bridge under construction
The Maputo-Catembe Bridge will be the longest suspension bridge in Africa once completed

The rainy season is threatening to further delay the completion of the suspension bridge being built over the Bay of Maputo in Mozambique.

It will link central Maputo to an outlying district of the capital, with a road linking to the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

According to Silva Magaia, the chairperson of Maputo-Sul - the public company in charge of constructing the bridge, the wet weather is affecting the laying of asphalt.

January and February are normally the wettest months of the year, and heavy rain has been falling in Maputo since the weekend.

Under the initial calendar, the bridge should have been completed by December.

However, work was delayed for six months largely because market stallholders were blocking the bridge's northern access road and refused to move without being compensated.

They had no right to compensation as Maputo-Sul provided them with new, clean stalls in an organised municipal market.

But the Municipal Council declined to use force to move them and instead negotiations were undertaken that led to Maputo-Sul providing compensation.

Construction on the access road resumed last week as most stallholders removed their goods, despite protests from some who said they had not received enough money.

Mr Magaia said he expected the bridge to be finished by the middle of 2018.

When a job is more than a paycheck in Mozambique

Amid high unemployment up to 2,000 teenagers are homeless, but some work at Armadura Gym
Amid high unemployment it is thought as many as 2,000 teenagers are homeless in Mozambique's capital, Maputo. But some have turned their lives around - partially as a result of Armadura Gym. The BBC's Kim Gittleson has been there to meet some of the gym's employees, most of whom used to live on the street, and speaks to the keep-fit entrepreneurs who have offered the young people a way out of poverty.

(Picture: A busy day at Armadura Gym in Maputo. Credit: BBC image)