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coastal dunes. Environmentally most fragile sections, the steep hills' slopes dividing these valleys should be kept undeveloped, and indigenous vegetation cherished.

The proposed tourism development areas are linked to the road network by feeder roads meeting the following important environmental and functional requirements:

  • Longitudinal service roads linking tourist centres of Xai-Xai and Chongoene Beach in the environmentally less sensitive area of coastal dunes substitute environmentally harmful and functionally improper road along the beaches. Besides taking over the resort service traffic, this road also links a chain of villages in the area behind the coastal dunes;

  • The proposed tourist accommodation sites are linked by service roads penetrating the coastal dunes through lateral valleys at the altitudes not higher than 40 meters, and avoiding in that way sharp cuts of the hills' slopes and "scarves" to the seaward exposed landscape. Taking into consideration the instability of the dunes environment, this solution conforms maximally to the dunes morphology with best technical elements, and, therefore, being cheaper as regards construction and maintenance costs;

  • Consequently, the existing road can easily be turned into an attractive pedestrian communication along the public space behind the beaches, linking the proposed tourist sites and allowing traffic pass free towards the beaches. The transport along this promenade should be designed only for emergency vehicles and public transport, and should only be used by low or non-polluting vehicles (small trains on tyres, etc); and

  • Situated on the opposite sides of the coastal segment proposed for tourism development, the sites of: a) Xai - Xai Beach; and b) Chongoene Beach, have the prerequisites to become the focal points or centres of the future tourist resort. Xai- Xai Beach has already developed into a small tourist centre while Chongoene Beach with the rehabilitation of the existing hotel and development of a new accommodation capacity on the eastern side, could have similar function within the future resort.”

Within the ICAM Management Strategy the tourism development sites were in total proposed to occupy 184 ha with the capacity to accommodate 9,000 persons, of which 3,500 are visitors in new establishments between Xai-Xai and Chongoene Beach, while the remaining 5,500 are residential population and visitors in the existing and new tourist capacities of Xai-Xai Beach.

1.4.2 Other International Projects

Besides the ICAM Strategy, several other international projects addressed the area of Xai-Xai Beach during the preparatory activities and elaboration of the Integrated Development Plan, as follows:

The Lower Limpopo River Basin Assessment

The Lower Limpopo River Basin Assessment, a UNEP sponsored study elaborated in 1998 by PAP/RAC, strengthens the knowledge on dependence of management activities, and the need for their better co-ordination and harmonisation either in the Limpopo River Basin and/or in the relevant coastal area. This report emphases the dependence of tourist activities in the Xai-Xai area particularly regarding the river flood plume which affects the quality of marine environment in the Xai-Xai area.

The flood water and sediment brought by the river plume along the coast significantly reduce water transparency for a longer period, therefore negatively affecting bathing, fishing activity and the growth of corals on the adjacent Baixos de Inhampura Reef and beach rock barrier encompassing the Xai-Xai lagoon. On the other hand, the uncontrolled tourism development in the Xai-Xai area could bring an excessive number of tourists in highly environmentally sensitive area of the Limpopo river mouth.


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