Multi-hazard risk assessment for the health sector in Mozambique

Published: 14 October 2020

Deltares has been granted to lead a consortium, formed with Mozambican engineering company CONSULTEC and with contribution of UN-HABITAT, for the World Bank and the Mozambican Ministry for Health (MISAU). The objective is to understand risks to the health sector in Mozambique through an in-depth multi-hazard disaster risk assessment of health infrastructure.

Maputo’s central hospital; source credit:   https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Central_Hospital_Maputo,_July_2018_(2).jpg

Critical challenges

This new study, that follows from the Safer Schools study, carried-out in 2017-2018 by the same partners for the Ministry of Education, will address the following critical challenges: the lack of scientific data and hazard maps to inform decisions on building or retrofitting health facilities; the lack of site-specific assessments and physical planning, inappropriate building designs; and poor quality construction and inadequate use of materials.

Droughts, floods and tropical cyclones

Mozambique is a country threatened by several natural hazards, the most frequent being droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. The country has a 2,770-km long coastline, which is exposed to cyclones between November and April. Eleven major cyclones hit the coast of Mozambique between 1984-2010, bringing torrential rainfall and flooding as well as strong winds. Human settlements are mostly concentrated along the Mozambican coastline and in floodplains due to historical, economic and social factors. Their degree of exposure to hydro-meteorological hazards increases the vulnerability of services and infrastructure, particularly schools, housing and health facilities.

In March and April 2019, Mozambique was struck by two consecutive major cyclones with significant impacts on local populations, business, and core infrastructure. More than 1.7 million people were affected, with damages and losses amounting to US$3 billion and an estimated US$3.4 billion of total cost for recovery and reconstruction.

More resilient against natural hazards an climate change

Cyclone Idai and Kenneth damaged or destroyed key public services, including more than 90 health centers across the affected area which highlighted once again, the importance of turning this sector more resilient against natural hazards and climate change. With the recent developments regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is clear that health infrastructure needs to be available under any emergency situation, making a priority any type of intervention with this objective.

Delft-FIAT

A major activity in this project will be the implementation of a multi-hazard approach into Delft-FIAT (Flood Impact Assessment Tool), an open and flexible framework for (flood) risk assessment which is applicable for other hazards too. In addition to numerous national and regional flood risk studies, Delft-FIAT has been successfully applied e.g. for tropical cyclone impacts in Vietnam, drought risk assessments in South-America and the multi-hazard risk study to the Mozambican classrooms.

This project will have three major components, including site visits to several health units in four provinces, and will last for about 5 months.

Output from “Safer Schools Mozambique” project (2017/2018). Expected annual damage to classrooms, caused by strong cyclonic winds.