BEIRA - This investigation reveals how a ten million dollar United Nations programme to combat environmental destruction falls apart in Mozambique.

What was once a forest in Missica, Chimoio, now looks like an endless series of empty football fields. Cyclones are destroying hopes for harvests in Beira, Zalala and Lugela in Zambeze. In Marromeu National Reserve hungry and thirsty buffalos, hippo’s and monkeys roam over villages, eating meagre food supplies. Villagers in Massingir district in the south complain that in the past three years more than a thousand cows have died due to drought and extreme heat. Once-lush Manica, like Massaca, is now also barren, -in this case due to timber cutting and careless gold mining,- with the river red from the mining chemicals. The recent cyclone in Beira has destroyed what was left standing after earlier floods; malaria mosquitoes and cholera thrive in the puddles.


With villages and landscapes tormented by climate change, drought and rapacious resource exploitation by politicians and their international partners, civil society organisations are trying to stem the tide.  NGOs and activists in all of the above locations try to combat the spreading misery planting trees and distributing biomass so that villagers can cook without having to use wood. They also protect bodies of water and organise community organisations to fence off the intruding wild animals. Only their activities are hampered and in many cases completely stopped because a dedicated United Nations fund that allocated grants to forty-five out of fifty-eight such projects between 2013 and 2015 simply never transferred the money.

Team members

Estacio Valoi

Estacio Valoi is a Mozambican investigative journalist (print, broadcaster, documentary, photography ).


Anonymous journalist

The second journalist who worked on this collaborative project wishes to stay anonymous but is known to the Journalismfund.eu team. 


Nick Mathiason

Nick Mathiason is a founder and Co-Director of Finance Uncovered.

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