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close this bookTraining Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)
close this folderThe settlements situation
View the documentAngola
View the documentBotswana
View the documentKenya
View the documentLesotho
View the documentMozambique
View the documentSudan
View the documentTanzania
View the documentZambia
View the documentZimbabwe


The settlements pattern of Mozambique reflects its colonial history; infrastructure was most developed across the country from Salisbury and Johannesburg to the city ports of Beira and Maputo, with no complete routes from north to south within the country. In the north, Niassa Province in particular was virtually inaccessible, the only roads being built for military purposes against the FRELIMO forces. The south was a source of migrant labour for South Africa. It is now planned to radically restructure the physical environment, but this has to be done with a minimum of resources. At the time of independence there were hardly any qualified Mozambican professionals, and, although the country is rich in natural resources, 85% of the population live as subsistence farmers, sometimes unable to meet their own basic needs.

Physical planning priorities have been established by the party, FRELIMO, which is also re-organizing local government. For example, the City of Maputo now has an assembly elected by delegates from neighbourhoods, schools, factories and other organizations. The assembly provides direction to the five departments of the Executive Council which administers the city. Neighbourhoods also have community-based committees called "Dynamizing Groups" with some responsibilities for management, and neighbourhoods are further organized into Block Committees with special responsibilities, or Sectoral Committees with specific responsibilities such as health. Some urban settlements have been successfully improved with almost no outside resources using self-help organized through Block Committees. In rural areas, development is focused on self-help in communal villages. The Training Case Study from Mozambique deals with two levels of training which are related:

  1. Acquisition of skills and mobilization for self-help in the community.
  2. Training programmes for physical planning staff.