After Idai: Insights from Mozambique for Climate Resilient Coastal Infrastructure

Between March 2019 and January 2021, Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique, was hit by two severe cyclones and a tropical storm, that resulted in massive infrastructure and crop damage as well as human losses. Cyclone Idai, the first to hit the town in March 2019, is regarded as one of the deadliest cyclones to ever hit the southern hemisphere. The cyclone also had negative impacts on natural ecosystems such as mangroves and sand dunes. Subsequent Tropical Storm Chalane (December 2020) and Tropical Cyclone Eloise (January 2021) exacerbated these impacts, increasing the vulnerability of the citizens of Beira and surrounding districts. The occurrence of these tragic events in such a short period has highlighted the need for the country to rapidly improve its resilience and response capacity for natural disasters. Climate change projections underscore this need, as tropical cyclones, floods and other natural disasters are predicted to be more frequent and intense in the future. These events also exposed the high level of vulnerability of the country’s coastal communities and highlight the need for climate-resilient reconstruction, in terms of hard and green infrastructure as well as social and economic systems.