The Mozambican government has decided to transform the 568 hectares of land surrounding the Malhazine military munitions depot, where an explosion in 2007 killed 107 people and injured another 515, into a natural reserve, the spokesman for the Council of Ministers said Tuesday in Maputo.
The Malhazine munitions depot, on the outskirts of Maputo, which was considered to be the largest munitions depot in Mozambique, contained thousands of tons of arms and ammunition used during the colonial and civil wars and exploded in March 2007, according to the government, due to high temperatures on the day of the explosion.
Alberto Nkutumula, spokesman for the Council of Ministers and deputy Justice Minister said that the Malhazine national reserve, officially called the Malhazine Ecological Park or EcoParque, will have research, veterinary and leisure facilities including green areas that will be home to Mozambican wildlife.
The spokesman also said that the government’s decision had been affected by the fact that the entire area around the former arms depot was practically untouched because it had been a military area to which civilians had no access. (macauhub)