Bundu Bashing in Mozambique
Updated: Jul 10, 2018
How do you prepare for a week long road assessment in rural Mozambique??? Anti-Malaria pills… Tabard… sunscreen… hat… head torch… camping gear… powerbank… Oh and I guess all the rest of the normal stuff like cameras, dashcams, road assessment forms etc.
After the first half an hour of visual assessment I turned off the app on my phone which was measuring the roughness index of the road as this seemed pretty pointless as we weaved from side to side dodging potholes and going from Donga to donga.
I can now understand why I was asked to come assess this road – a “main road” linking tree farming industries 80km North of Beira to the Port – a vital transport route for exporting timber and woodchips. Some of the donga’s had to be as deep as the window of our land cruiser and with remnants of the week before rains still percolating into the edge of the sandy track (“road”) from the swampy marshes alongside – I could see this road was a recipe for disaster considering around 1500mm of rain falls on the road annually (mostly over the rainy period between November and March).
But this is what I guess Engineering is all about – engineering solutions for near impossible conditions. Some of the photos attached show the dire state of the road, but nevertheless there are some economical, sustainable engineering solutions that are available for just such conditions:
1) PRS Neology® Geocell technology (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehf19EUZCAE
2) Installation in Canada & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gDKWB_UbnE
3) Installation in Indonesia – contact ……..) is one such solution as is polyroads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUD_gufF7Vs) – polymer stabilized roads (contact - ……).
Obviously different strokes for different folks – largely depending on budget. Interestingly enough both these environmentally friendly, sustainable solutions are more cost effective than conventional layer works and upgrade construction methods!
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Not all work and no play though. Here are some other pics from the productive trip.