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Focus on the Positive



Transforming Transport: Maps for Maputo

By Lizzy Baddeley, on 22 October 2014

Chapa drivers in Maputo

Chapa drivers in Maputo

Clemence Cavoli won Focus on the Positive in May 2014 with a project aiming to help improve the public transport infrastructure in Maputo, Mozambique. She updates us here on how the team are getting on.

Thanks to Focus on the Positive, Clemence Cavoli and her colleague Joaquin Romero have made great progress in developing their ‘Map for Maputo’ project in Mozambique.

Clemence won £2000 for her project to create a map of the local transport networks in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Chapas, small minibuses, provide transport to thousands of people each day, but they’re privately run, hard to predict, and completely unmapped.

If mass use of private vehicles becomes popular, it will pose a major threat to sustainable development in Mozambique, so Clemence and Joaquin are working to counter this threat. Together, they are working with chapas drivers to chart their routes in the city, creating a local transport map that can be used by residents and visitors, hopefully encouraging the use of public transport over private vehicles.

Joaquin flew to Mozambique in July and has been focusing on two key missions.

Firstly, he’s been developing and strengthening relationships and establishing an on-going collaboration with the key local stakeholders, including the local transport association and the mini bus drivers and owners.

Most importantly, Joaquin was able to get the support of the main local association for mobility and the chapas drivers and owners associations. The team has also been able to establish contact with:

Due to these connections, the team now has the support of a wide range of organisations to produce a map of minibus routes. They have also been able to gain a comprehensive overview of local transport challenges, policies and opportunities in Maputo and in Mozambique more widely, and raise awareness among these key players to make sure the map is used and kept up-to-date in the long term.

People queuing to use the chapas in Maputo

People queuing to use the chapas in Maputo

The second key mission has been to undertake  extensive field work, finalising the GPS mapping of the minibuses routes. This will help the team to create a map of the minibuses routes. Thanks to Joaquin’s hard work, the GPS details of the ‘chapas’ routes for the map design are close to completion.

The team still has a lot of work to do to finish the data collection, create the map and get it out and used by people in Maputo.

The team want the local authorities to support chapas as a key part of their master plan for city transport, preventing an increase in the use of private vehicles. The next step is to get the local authorities on board and ensure the map is readable and useful for users who might not be familiar with the city or with chapas, and to improve the practicality and image of the minibuses.

Bus terminal in Matola, Maputo

Bus terminal in Matola, Maputo

Clemence Cavoli is a Research Assistant in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at UCL.

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