Mozambique urged to embrace climate-resilient buildings

A worker plants flowers at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre ahead of the Africa Climate Summit. [Denish Ochieng', Standard]

Mozambique has been urged to construct more climate-resilient buildings to cope with the effects of climate change.

A new report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - a member of the World Bank Group IFC – titled the Mozambique Market Assessment for Resilient Buildings Report showcases the opportunities for local developers to improve the climate resilience of buildings in Mozambique, a country particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including cyclones, floods and droughts.

The report found that while Mozambique demonstrates a high level of awareness of climate risks, it has yet to implement a full-fledged policy and legal framework for building climate-resilient buildings.

The report also found that construction companies in Mozambique often struggle to access financing and that construction materials are largely imported, factors that hamper the development of climate-resilient buildings in the country.

The report was presented in Maputo this month at an IFC-organised roundtable on climate resilience for Mozambique that convened policymakers, industry specialists, construction companies, international developers, insurance companies, and UN-Habitat.

Climate-resilient buildings are those designed and constructed to withstand and adapt to the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges, minimizing damage and ensuring long-term sustainability.

“There is a promising market and urgent need for climate-resilient buildings in Mozambique,” said Vasco Nunes, IFC Acting Country Manager for Mozambique.

He added:  “IFC is working with partners to design policies, programs and products that will help increase climate financing for Mozambique’s building sector with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety and longevity of people’s homes and places of business.”

The Mozambique report was developed using IFC’s Building Resilience Index (BRI), a hazard mapping and resilience assessment framework for developers, homebuyers, and other stakeholders that aims to enhance the overall climate adaptation of cities.

Mozambique is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to benefit from the BRI. The framework, which was first adopted by the Philippines, has also been used in Vietnam, Colombia, and Mexico.

The IFC has invested nearly $248 million (Sh38 billion) in Mozambique, with 87 per cent focused on expanding access to renewable energy and 11 per cent dedicated to agribusiness development.

These investments showcase IFC's commitment to sustainability and support for Mozambique's development.