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More than 25 years on, and the destruction wrought by war in the village of Inhaminga in central Mozambique is still visible. Its inhabitants continue to ask for government investment to rehabilitate the old urban centre.
In colonial times, the railway town of Inhaminga was considered the second most important urban centre in the province of Sofala after Beira. Nowadays, it is a village with more buildings in ruins than undamaged ones.
The marks of the Mozambican civil war are still visible in the bullet and shrapnel holes in the walls. Decades later, the village seems to have sunk into oblivion. While other areas of the province flourish, Inhaminga, which has about 20,000 inhabitants, has been falling more and more into disrepair.
Celestino Dique was born and raised in Inhaminga. Currently, he runs a residential complex which was rehabilitated in 1999. He advocates the creation of partnerships between authorities and businesspeople to develop the locality, “giving freedom to the people, to the entrepreneurs who want [the development], and not creating obstacles”.
Elder Elias Languitone reminds us that the Government has rehabilitated some buildings in recent years. “Many ruins have already been rehabilitated – just to say our government has done good things,” he says.
CFM with rehabilitation plan
Many of the ruins in Inhaminga belong to the Mozambique Railways (CFM). DW was not able to reach the authorities, but the public railway company says it is gradually fulfilling a rehabilitation plan for both buildings and trains.
The plan provides for the “rehabilitation of everything that can be rehabilitated. But it’s not possible to rehabilitate everything at one time,” Augusto Atumane Abdul, director general of CFM in the centre region of the country, said in an interview with DW Africa. “Depending on the need and the timing, [the company] rehabilitates infrastructure, and has reused some rolling stock. What cannot be reused is scrapped,” he explains.
The beauty of Inhaminga is overshadowed by the ruins, businessman António João Jone says. But that may change, if homeowners also began to “roll up their sleeves” and rehabilitate or sell their homes, he argues. “Those who have houses now in rubble should be able to sell them to others to rehabilitate, restoring the village as it was,” he says.
Source: Deutsche Welle