It’s Not Enough

Maputo is undergoing a major face-lift. It’s on the news. Long ago I wrote about the city parks makeover, guessing that the next move would be the marginal or miradouro. Someone must have read my words because the face-lift is basically about the marginal.

Even though it’s quite nice to see the result of the works, there are already early signs of destruction. As I don’t want to write a manual here, I mention the main problems and a possible solution.

Destruction by people and speeding cars.
Right now it looks like no one will be able to stop vandalism. Someone must pay so that the town keeps a capable maintenance service to repair what is destroyed. If the maintenance is quick and persistent, probably those who destroy will get tired. As a future solution, education is the only option. Children should visit beautiful places of the town and learn what they represent and the importance of keeping them in pristine state.

Barracas and booze.
This is a big one. People seem to go to the beach not to enjoy the sea and the sand but to eat and, mainly, to drink. It a very sad sight and all the rubbish left behind is awful. I don’t even know what to say of the shacks against the perfect horizon. If there’s a solution, probably it’s quite a simple one: “No cooking or selling booze on the beach, except in specific authorized areas.”

There are at least three distinctive architecture tendencies in Maputo: 1) The beautiful colonial buildings, some more in shape than others. 2) The skyscrapers (3 or more stores) from the 50s up to today. 3) New buildings influenced by South African and Chinese design. The multiplication of styles indicates the need of vision and lack of control. I already can see, in a few years, all the Chinese facades of today being redesigned to suit a modern African country.