Case Study

Coastal Protection in Beira, Mozambique

Sector: Built environment; Coastal Resilience & Climate Adaptation
Highlights:  Coastal resilience, community engagement, ecological uplift
Project owner: Invest International and The World Bank
Project start: September 2019 – Ongoing (expected completion by 30 September 2024)
Location/s: Beira, Mozambique
Community impacted: Coastal
Hazards mitigated:  Flooding, Erosion, Hurricanes/cyclones
Number of vulnerable people made more resilient: 200,000
Case study provided by: Royal HaskoningDHV

Find out more

The World Bank and Invest International are financing the implementation of coastal protection measures in the city of Beira to address the impacts of cyclones and floods. The key objective of the project is to enhance the resilience of the communities, infrastructure and economy to the impacts of climate hazards, particularly in the most affected coastal areas.

About the Project

In 2019, two major cyclones (Idai and Kenneth) hit Mozambique, causing devastating damages and disruptions to infrastructure, the economy, and people’s livelihoods. These climate-related events stimulated the mobilisation of support and resources to implement interventions that strengthen the city of Beira’s readiness to mitigate, respond to and recover from the impacts of current and future natural disasters and climate hazards. A key component to climate-proof Beira is the development of a coastal protection strategy.

The World Bank and other development partners, under the Cyclone Idai Kenneth Emergency Recovery and Resilience Project, are investing in the climate resilience of Beira with the overarching objective of creating a long-term, high level of safety against coastal flooding in the capital city. This will be achieved by supporting the repair and strengthening of the coastal protection infrastructure and integrating these interventions into the urban and natural environment of Beira, whilst seeking socio-economic, environmental, and urban development synergies.

This investment programme includes a commitment of $60 million to implement coastal protection measures, which is being co-financed by development partners, such as Invest International. This is part of a larger investment from the World Bank with a total commitment of $190 million under the Cyclone Idai Kenneth Emergency Recovery and Resilience Project.

The investment programme aims to design and implement coastal protection measures that not only protect Beira against climate hazards, but that add value to the spatial quality of the city and stimulate socio-economic development and the natural environment.

Within this context, Royal HaskoningDHV was assigned by Invest International, following an international tender procedure, to develop feasibility studies for implementing adaptation measures, including the economic analysis of nature-based solutions for flood resilience.

They developed a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of design alternatives for coastal resilience measures. These measures include a combination of grey and green solutions, such as beach restoration and conservation, seawalls, and levees, to prioritise investments in four stretches of Beira’s coastline that are mostly impacted by climate hazards (See Figure 2).

Fig. 2

The proposed coastal protection and flood resilience measures aim to address the risks of flooding (due to cyclones and extreme precipitation events) and coastal erosion. The CBA was based on the development of full preliminary designs, which included construction materials costs, estimates of the capital investments needed, the direct benefits (i.e., avoided damages), and indirect benefits (i.e., improvement of ecosystem services, health benefits, and avoided indirect flood damages) provided.

The preliminary design of coastal protection measures during the feasibility studies considered not only the climate risks that the four coastal stretches were exposed to but also the physical conditions and landscape characteristics to propose adequate investment alternatives. These measures adopt a ‘nature-based approach’, where grey and green solutions are combined to achieve the greatest risk reduction and indirect risk benefits. Furthermore, they also consider the use of local materials (e.g., sand) for the implementation of measures.

For each of the four coastal stretches considered, three investment scenarios were considered as shown in Table 1. Assuming a discount rate of 6%, investment Alternative 1, which proposed dune conservation measures with a sand suppletion buffer, was the most economically viable measure, with a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.6, an estimated net present value (ENPV) of $92.5 million, and an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) of 17%.


Coastal protection and flood resilience measures for the City of Beira, Mozambique
Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3
Stretch 1: Early Warning Systems (EWS) and land use regulation

Stretch 2 North: Strengthen sea wall

Stretch 2 South: Dune with 10-years buffer

Stretch 3: Dune with 50-years buffer

Stretch 4: Dune with 10-years buffer

Stretch 1: EWS, land use regulation, and evaluation by road

Stretch 2 North: New sea wall

Stretch 2 South: Levee/ flood wall

Stretch 3: Levee with 10-years buffer

Stretch 4: Levee with 10-years buffer

Stretch 1: EWS and evacuation by road and levee

Stretch 2 North: New sea wall

Stretch 2 South: Dune with 10-years buffer and elevation for urban development

Stretch 3: Dune with 10-years buffer

Stretch 4: Inland levee with road without buffer



Results of the cost-benefit analysis*
Economic indicator Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3
Total costs $50.7 million $203.9 million $43.2 million
Direct benefits $5.1 million $5.1 million $2.6 million
Indirect benefits $126.7 million $133.2 million $0.1 million
BCR 2.60 0.68 0.06
ENPV $92.5 million ($65. 6 million) ($38.1 million)
EIRR 17.0% 3.5% -6.7%

*presented results consider a discount rate of 6%.

Source: Adapted from Van Zanten, B. T., et al., 2023.

Intended Outcomes


Through this project, the World Bank aims to directly protect 200,000 people by implementing climate-resilient infrastructure projects, including coastal protection measures. The project involves an extensive stakeholder engagement process to ensure that the various functions of the coastal zone for the population and economy are considered and to enhance awareness of the importance of coastal protection. The CBA highlighted the importance of considering the indirect impacts of climate risks on local communities and the indirect benefits that proposed measures can provide, such as the avoided loss of wages and livelihoods.


The coastal protection measures proposed for the city of Beira integrate a combination of mangrove restoration and sandy shores and dune measures to address the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. They are part of the development of an overall coastal protection strategy that integrates efforts to climate-proof, ‘build back better’ and promote the development of coastal areas with high risk of climate-related events.

The proposed measures promote ecosystem restoration and enhancement and consider physical and landscape conditions to ensure that implemented solutions are suitable to the local context of each of the four coastal stretches.


The project proposes the implementation of economically feasible coastal protection and flood protection measures to address the risks of cyclones, estimating the direct damages to infrastructure and indirect impacts to the tourism economy and disruptions to businesses. Furthermore, the analysis also considers future land use change and economic growth to estimate the benefits of measures.

Read more case studies...

Filter by