Making Rural Access Roads More Resilient: Lessons Learned from Trailing the Climate Change Adaptation Handbook in Mozambique

Like other African countries, Mozambique is facing a challenge of repair and maintaining roads damaged from the effects of climate change (i.e., floods, storms, and cyclones). Climate change–associated road damages have direct socioeconomic effects, particularly to the rural community. Mozambique has a tropical to subtropical climate, with some semiarid regions in the southwest of the country. A slight increase in mean annual temperature has been observed in Mozambique. The largest increase was observed in the south of the country (1° in 100 years). Average annual rainfall has decreased significantly. The south and coastal regions have experienced an increase in extreme events associated with the effects of climate change. One focus of the ongoing climate vulnerability project supported by the Africa Community Access Partnership (AfCAP), a research programme funded by UK Aid, is to identify, characterize, and demonstrate the appropriate engineering and nonengineering adaptation procedures that may be implemented to strengthen the resilience of rural roads. As part of the AfCAP climate vulnerability project, a 50-km gravel (unpaved) road between Mohambe and Maqueze in the Gaza province of Mozambique was identified for the construction of demonstration sections. The road is located along the edge of various natural lakes, making it more vulnerable to the flooding frequently experienced in Mozambique. This road links to a small village that has not more than 2,000 inhabitants who have been besieged during the rainy season. The road is estimated to carry about 25 vehicles per day (vpd) on average, with very few heavy vehicles. The road also forms part of a climate adaptation program funded by the World Bank. Significant damage was done to this road during the 2013 flooding, and six concrete fords (emergency repairs) were installed to improve passability in 2014, and various short sections were spot regravelled with a blend of sand and calcrete. Although this road had been identified by Mott MacDonald for a climate resilient exercise funded in a World Bank project, their conclusions were primarily related to improving the existing drainage structures. Four demonstration sections are constructed along the Mohambe and Maqueze road to address climate change–related problems leading to the undercutting of concrete fords, damage to road approaching concrete ford, damage to culverts, and damage to the gravel road surface. The designs and construction program for the demonstration sections are presented in this paper. The long-term performance of the demonstration sections is planned to be monitored over time. The outcomes of the monitoring program are expected to inform on the appropriate adaptation procedures for wider implementation in Mozambique, and possibly elsewhere.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Maps; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 71-75
  • Monograph Title: 12th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01732246
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2020 5:48PM