Xai-Xai IDP – DEMONSTRATION ACTIVITIES
7.1.4 Green Areas
Praia Velha area is situated on sandy wind blown dunes. Most of the Praia Velha area is covered with indigenous vegetation characteristic to coastal dunes of Mozambique (see Figure 5). The dominant plant species are Mimusops caffra (20.9 %) and Diospyros rotundifolia (14.0%) forming the dense bush forest particularly in the secondary dunes area (see Figure 69).
The specific vegetation cover at the foredunes is highly deteriorated by human activities causing severe erosion and sand movement towards the interior part of the Praia Velha area. The main cause of this deterioration is construction activities, the use of the existing road along the foredunes and the lateral paths leading to the beach. The introduction of the Causarina trees in the past has not proven to be effective in preventing erosion. It must be brought to the attention of developers that the removal of vegetation during a phase of construction will result in a cost implication when it comes to revegetating these exposed areas.
In most cases the natural vegetation will recolonise the area, if left alone. However, to speed up this process, it is advisable to replant a site with species found on the site originally. This will result in the indigenous character of the site being retained after construction. Secondly, the use of indigenous plants species will ensure the maintenance and restoration of the natural ecosystem.
It is, however, unavoidable that some of the indigenous vegetation will be lost during the construction of houses, streets and other buildings. This can be mitigated by the following actions:
To preserve as much as possible of the indigenous vegetation cover on the building sites, particularly at the edges of lots, along the streets and within the public areas;
Special efforts should be made in restoring and maintaining the indigenous vegetation cover along the foredunes where narrow and sensitively designed pedestrian walkway should replace the existing road;
The lateral accesses to the beach (wooden stairs) should be elevated from the ground to allow restoration and undisturbed growth of plants;
Special attention should be placed in restoring the vegetation cover along the protection green belt. In the majority of this area the indigenous vegetation should be restored;
Only decorative plants that do not pose a threat to indigenous vegetation should be allowed and only on a limited scale in public areas; and
Public areas such as the playground, the viewpoint and the restaurant area should be planted with mostly indigenous species and if other plants are used, in a way which is sensitive towards the indigenous species. Plants with a low maintenance should be used so as not to waste precious public funds. These areas should serve as an example for the planting of private lots
9 Map and relevant information is adapted from Roda S. Nuvunga, Alfredo Nuvunga, Viriato Chiconela, “Caracterizacao da vegetacao nativa da zona costeira entre a Prai-Velha e Chongoene”, GTA, Xai-Xai, Novembro 1998.