U.S. government celebrates partnership with Mozambique to prevent, treat and eliminate malaria
Photo: Conselho Executivo Provincial de Sofala
Japan and the Gorongosa National Park recovery project, in central Mozambique announced on Saturday that they would together rehabilitate classrooms for 640 students in an area of the country where former guerrillas are laying down their weapons.
“We are going to help children and ex-guerrilla fighters covered by the DDR [disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration] process to gain knowledge and improve their lives,” said Kimura Hajime, Japan’s ambassador to Mozambique.
The diplomat was speaking in the city of Beira during the signing ceremony for the €82,000 of Japanese support, destined to improve educational infrastructure, water supply and sanitation at the Nhandar Primary School in Gorongosa district.
Governor of Sofala Province, Lourenço Ferreira Bulha, said he hoped the signing of the agreement would deliver improvements in the education process in the Gorongosa National Park buffer zone, and contribute to the improvement of the livelihoods of rural communities there.
Now that peace has been won, “education”, with “community involvement”, is “the key to success and development”, said Luísa Langa, director of Gorongosa National Park, which will implement the project.
The school will comprise three classrooms, an administrative block, a water hole and a double block of improved latrines.
The process of demobilisation of former guerrillas of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, has already covered 3,270 former guerrillas, mainly in the centre of the country, the main locus of the conflicts.
The DDR process, part of the Peace Agreement signed in 2019 between the government and the country’s main opposition party, is expected to end this year, having reached a total of 5,000 former combatants.
Combatants who leave the bush receive a reintegration allowance for a year and then enter the Mozambican state pension system, benefiting at the same time from help entering various professions.
Under the agreement, some former guerrillas have been incorporated into the Mozambican Defence and Security Forces.
The former conflict zone is adjacent to the Gorongosa National Park, which is now one of Mozambique’s main conservation areas, supporting a wide variety of wildlife.
The park, which covers an area of around 4,000 square kilometres, is located at the southern tip of the East African Rift Valley in the province of Sofala.
The park encompasses some of the most biologically rich and geologically diverse ecosystems on the continent, and is currently being rehabilitated through various initiatives after being heavily affected by Mozambique’s 16-year civil war, which lasted from 1976 to 1992.