Mozambique: Teixeira Duarte delivers project to prevent ruin of fortress on Mozambique Island

18 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 18 Feb – Portuguese construction company Teixeira Duarte is due Thursday to formally hand over the work it has carried out to stop the ruin of the Sao Sebastiao Fortress on the Island of MOzambique (north).

According to the company’s representative in Mozambique, Carlos Timóteo, the project, which is estimated to have cost US$1.6 million involved around 200 workers and was carried out by Bel – Engenharia e Reabilitação de Estruturas (part of the group).

The project consisted of making the entire structure of the fortress, built in 1507, watertight as well as the buildings on the inside of the structure, which were in a poor state of repair due to leaks.

The work also included repairs to damage caused by 2008’s tropical cyclone “Jokwe” to Mozambique Island, which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

The Sao Sebastiao fortress was the first Portuguese fortification in the Indian Ocean and served to defend the sea route to India.

“Phase Two” of the project, which has been technically outlined and will also deal with work on the fortress itself, will cost between US$5 and US$6 million, and its funding has yet to be secured.

Funding of the first stage of the work was provided by the Union of Portuguese-speaking Capital Cities (UCCLA), which provided 500,000 euros, and by Japan, which provided the remainder.

The Island of Mozambique, which covers just 1 square kilometre, has a population of around 16,000. (macauhub)