Navigability study of the Chire and Zambezi rivers in Mozambique, ready in August

7 May 2015

The study on the navigability of the Chire and Zambezi rivers in Mozambique should be completed by August, said the director of international relations at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Fortunato Albreiro, cited by Rádio Moçambique.

The study was conducted at the request of neighbouring Malawi, which wants to use the two rivers to import and export its goods, with the prospect of lowering transport costs by about 60 percent.

Fortunato Albreiro said, however, that preliminary studies advise against trade and international navigation in those two rivers and added that observing the environmental, social and even economic impacts “it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to allow international commercial shipping in both watercourses.”

Albreiro recalled that the two rivers had their own characteristics and were of greater economic importance to Mozambique, particularly the Zambezi where the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam is located.

The river Chire, in turn, is narrow but deep, with depths up to eight metres, so there would be no need to dredge it to achieve the drafts required for commercial shipping, but it has a large amount of aquatic plants, which would be a serious obstacle to navigation. (macauhub/MZ)