Action “Tsima Ga Ku Aka” to Build Together in Mozambique


After more than thirty years of different wars, in October 1992. With all the social problems created by the aggression from neighboring countries, major quantity of social (health and education facilities) and technical (roads, bridges water supply systems, cattle assistance facilities) infrastructures were destroyed and provincial government had no know-how and no financial capacity to rebuilt and to start to offer services to encourage displaced people to return to their origin places.

Based on the acknowledgment of MAUD members on rural areas environment, on different cultures, the MAUD decided to participate in the process of consolidation of the Peace offering a technical support for animation of rural communities, during the two years of preparation of the elections after the Peace agreement, to participate actively in the reconstruction.

Thus, taking into account a request from the Inhambane Provincial Government MAUD started, in August / September 1993, a rural development program in four districts of this southern province, whose main objectives were:

To rebuild infrastructures destroyed during the war

  • to create material conditions for local governments to be able to offer services in rural areas,
  • to involve rural communities, that during more than ten years observed or participated a large destruction scenario, in a constructive process as a massive reeducation program,
  • to fight against the “big market”, “the big business” of foreign NGO “emergency or humanitarian processes”, a very profitable activity for young people from Northern Hemisphere, offering a more adequate mode, to use assistance funds for a real and sustainable development and with a participatory intervention of the beneficiary communities and of the local Mozambican experts

Experiment new relationship between all social development actors

  • new cost administration models to invert the % of administration cost to 25% against the “normal accepted for foreign aid of 70% of international grants and humanitarian assistance organizations”,
  • to involve in the same action Local Authorities, Community Based Organizations, local and foreign Non Governmental Organizations,
  • to invite technical skilled Mozambican people to participate with dignity in an humanitarian participatory process as a self help program for city and rural communities, proud of our cultural capacity humiliated most of the cases by foreign aid,
  • respect by old traditions related with self sustainable environment management, drought and war situation, capacity of resistance on those difficult years for the rural communities.

Experiment adequate construction technologies

  • using durable industrial material,
  • contributing for a reduction of consumption of timber in traditional construction in deforested areas for environment conservation,
  • using adequate construction technologies to facilitate the active participation of local non skilled rural workers and to facilitate the management of the whole process by local commissions of residents,
  • initial low cost and durable infrastructures with very low resources for maintenance.

For the fulfillment of these objectives, the following two-year work plan of action was agreed to be carried out:

  • construction of 90 new classrooms for the primary education,
  • rehabilitation of 20 destroyed classrooms of the primary education,
  • construction of a maternity and a health center,
  • rehabilitation of three maternity’s and three health posts,
  • rehabilitation of water resources when existent,
  • rehabilitation of roads and other accesses including removal of personal land mines
  • realization of cultural activities with a social pedagogical objective – to contribute for peace accepting and understanding cultural differences, working together for habitat improvement and social welfare.


From the analysis of the experiences, it can be drawn that, with great or less difficulties, the main objectives established for this program are being gradually achieved. In this sense, on the eve of the accomplishment of the first phase of this program, more than 100 new classrooms for primary education have been constructed, or are almost complete, as well as a maternity and a health center, also 3 maternity’s and 3 health posts have been rehabilitated.

This has already, at a great extent, contributed to offer the communities improved educational and health services, as the children and teachers moved from under-tree or wood-barrack schools to conventional buildings, and the populations began to receive health assistance in more adequate conditions.

The fact that the populations, themselves, were able to construct their schools and health centers, made them to believe again in their possibilities and capacities. Thus, the program acted as a reeducation process for the consolidation a constructive and peaceful mind

Today, and as a consequence of all this, some people with whom MAUD worked in other programs, and are displaced in suburban areas of Maputo, intend to return to their home lands at the south of Inhambane, as they know they can benefit from better educational conditions for their children This leads us to conclude that the results of this action are incentives for the return of the populations to the countryside, this being one of the indirect intended objectives.

The involvement of the beneficiaries in the actions, the adoption of simplified constructive processes, that can be easily dominated by the residents, the use of conventional construction materials, and a correct management of all the involved aspects, made possible the edification of infrastructures of good quality, where:

  • the construction costs are very much inferior to those practiced in other programs or by contractors;
  • the maintenance costs during the first 5 years are practically worthless (although the initial investment be relatively high).

On the other side, with the same resources, more results were attained than the previously foreseen.

The calculation of the costs indicates, that the program is building with values of 85-90 US$/m2 of covered area, against the 250 US$ practiced in other programs and accepted as very good, for constructions of the same type and sometimes of less quality.

The edification of new classrooms in conventional building materials ceased the construction of wood-barracks, which consumed annually about 180 (10-15 cm) trunks. This is already a clear contribution for the reduction of wood consumption on the area, necessary for an environmental equilibrium on an area where the vegetation is deeply deteriorated.

Although all the difficulties faced during the implementation of the action, the following could be emphasized:

  • Many of the problems faced by the local communities can be solved with little resources, as long as these are correctly managed and the beneficiaries directly engaged in all tasks
  • With the help of the local capacities, the overseas helping resources can be much better used
  • The appeal to the civil associations for the implementation of governmental programs using state funds, might be an interesting way to solve some difficulties faced by the State, due both to lack of technical capacity or mainly financing resources. Nevertheless, them State should clearly regulate the procedures and responsibilities of all participants.
  • Since the role and importance of each intervening are clearly defined and understood, CBO’s, NGO’s and Government can be involved in a joint development program.

As it can be inferred from the letter the Inhambane Governor sent to MAUD, this action must have positively influenced the politics at the provincial level so that, today, the Government considers important to widen this kind of intervention to the entire Province, as a way to solve the existing problems.