Maputo as a modern city
Maputo is located on the south coast of Mozambique and is a port city. Here the Maputo River flows into the Indian Ocean. Maputo is one of the cities in Africa that is growing very quickly, so the population of two million is also growing steadily. Maybe there are a lot more people when you read these lines.
The Portuguese had built a fortress here and built the city geometrically. That’s how the rich people live in the city center in the “cement city” and the poor people around it. Their houses are not made of stone or cement, but are mostly covered with straw or corrugated iron. So this part of the city is called “Straw City”.
17 soccer fields of rubbish
Plastic, paper, cans and bottles are searched for by the poor residents to be sold again. At first the garbage facility was on the edge, now it is in the middle of the city. It is as big as 17 soccer fields and as high as a three-story building.
It stinks and the fumes the garbage collectors inhale are toxic. The garbage collectors don’t even make half a dollar a day. Children also work here. They often collect the garbage for several hours. For many people, this is the only source of income.
Rich and poor
In Maputo, rich and poor, the modern and the past meet. Here the joie de vivre of Africans and the past of Europeans meet. Here people earn money from the growing economy, while others have to fight for survival. The traces of the civil war have not yet been completely removed. There is often a lack of money to renovate old houses.
Why do Mozambicans turn their palms to greet them?
The Portuguese shaped Mozambique’s culture for a long time. Even today, Portuguese customs and traditions are not uncommon. However, this applies primarily to southern Mozambique. In the north the western influence is much less. There are tribes here that, like their ancestors, still wander around as semi- nomads with their herds of animals and look for fertile pastureland for their animals.
The consequences of the three decades of civil war can still be felt today. The poverty is huge. The war didn’t end until 1992. The villages and fields were devastated and the people robbed of their livelihood. There were no more schools, no more education, and children could no longer learn anything. Many children were used as child soldiers. The landmines, which are still a threat to the population even after so many years, bear witness to the war.
As a legacy of the Civil War, one sometimes greets one another by raising both palms of the hands outward, just to show that one is not carrying weapons and is not an enemy. But now there is a new war and that is the war on AIDS.
AIDS – the new war in Mozambique
1.5 million people are infected with HIV in Mozambique. But medication can prevent babies from contracting this dangerous virus when they are born. This is a great opportunity. But women have to start therapy during pregnancy, otherwise 40 out of 100 children would be infected with the virus before or during birth. To get more information on Mozambique and Africa, check intershippingrates.
Fight against poverty
Half of Mozambique’s population still lives below the poverty line. Mozambique is a very young country, almost half of the population is under 14 years old. Half of the approximately ten million children live in poverty. Poverty is particularly great in rural areas. Children who are better off also live in the capital, Maputo. 27 out of 1,000 babies die at birth.
The cuisine of Mozambique is influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. The range of food is greater on the coast than inland. The large trading cities that the Portuguese had conquered are also on the coast. Here they settled down and left parts of their culture behind. People like to eat piri piri chicken here. Piri-Piri is a very hot chilli and chilli is a very hot spice, which children usually don’t like because it is so hot.
Corn is very popular
A thick, chewy corn porridge called wusa is also popular. Corn is one of the most important foods in Mozambique. You mash the corn kernels and then boil them to a pulp. Millet is just as popular as manioc roots. These are also cooked to a pulp and used as the basis for many dishes. In addition to piri-piri, the matapa sauce is also typical of Mozambique. This sauce is made from peanuts and cassava leaves.
Since Mozambique is on the coast, there is a lot of fish to eat. One of the largest fish markets in all of East Africa is located in the capital, Maputo. Shrimp and crayfish are particularly popular. Then there is the popular Matapa sauce.
The most popular drink in Mozambique is rooibo tea (rooibos tea), a tea that children can also drink, as it contains no caffeine or tea.