Xai-Xai IDP – DEMONSTRATION ACTIVITIES
Re-location of traffic from the coastal to the backset distributor road would definitely eliminate negative impacts and pollution from the beaches (i.e., air pollution, noise, destruction of vegetation) caused by intensive traffic;
The value of land intended for tourism and housing development would be increased resulting in making offers for land to important and financially powerful developers;
The increasing of land value and interest for construction would result in income creation for the local community, thus making possible the fulfilment of obligations takenover, among others, the reimbursement of financial means invested in the realisation of the Project; and
Re-location of access for visitors and services, such as waste transportation, supplying, and vehicular access to future built-up areas would enable realisation of a Promenade, thus, raising the level of tourist offer in the beach segment to the high world level.
It is obvious that each project brings along certain risks. In the case of the backset distributor road construction prerequisites would partly be created for influx of settlers along the road, thus, posing threat to further non-sustainable exploitation of resources in the dunes belt. However, the risk the local population would be exposed to by creation of quality construction and housing prerequisites in the areas envisaged for the development within the framework of IDP, would relatively be low.
Also, due to various external factors, such as political and economic instability in the wider region, the expected interest of developers could lack. The local community should take this risk, which, however, could be reduced if the road construction and its utilisation would start as soon as possible, i.e., until interest of developers still exists.
7.3.4 Environmental Considerations
The environmental impact of development was a serious concern throughout the planning. The impact of roads is specifically important, as roads open up the area and change drainage patterns. The geology of the area is recent sands, formed into dunes under maritime influence. The dunes are orientated perpendicular to the coast, resulting in steep valleys with depressions as low as 2m above sea level and dune crests as high as 126m above sea level. The dunes perpendicular to the sea, allow some possible routes from the inland, but limit routes parallel to the coast. The topography of the coastal dunes is not very suitable to development, as many of the slopes are too steep for building and roads will have to cut through the dunes. The exposed dune sand is unstable and prone to wind erosion.
The implication for roads planning is that design standards must be restricted to fit the horizontal and vertical alignments to the natural constraints. Routes should follow contours as far as possible and where slopes are required, the route must follow natural slopes of acceptable gradients. The natural vegetation must be retained as far as possible during construction of roads and slopes resulting from cut and fill operations revegetated. Storm water runoff from roads must be channelled in side drains to avoid erosion and weakening of the sub grade. Storm water is absorbed into the sand or accumulated in the natural depressions. This drainage patterns should be left as undisturbed as possible. The area is subject to cyclone conditions. Final design of drainage must take this into account.
However, the steep slopes on the dunes will constrain the design with respect to gradients and sight distance and necessitate careful siting of intersecting roads. The main advantage of the backset road is that it will not be visible from the beach area as it is often behind dunes and the height of the beach dunes cuts off the line of sight to the developments on the dune plateau.
The coastal section from Xai-Xai Beach to the east is at present served by a coastal road. The existing development along this strip is dependent on this access and will be until access from the inland is available. The area through which this route goes is already spoilt and partially developed. It is proposed that this coastal road is upgraded in the short term as distributor