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Mecanhelas is a district of Niassa Province in north-western Mozambique.



  • Mecanhelas - The principal town.

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The Mecanhelas district occupies an area of 6,406 km2 with a population of approximately 13.2 inhabitants per km2. The total population of 84,356 inhabitants. The district is divided into two administrative posts, insatiate and Chiúta office-and-five locations. The government is represented by the District Directorates of Agriculture and Fisheries, Education, Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Public Works and Housing, Health and Social Welfare. The coordination of government business is done through meetings with all sectors. The traditional authority is also present and active, with an important role in conflict resolution.


Mecanhelas is a district with moderate population density, which means there is pressure for more resources, especially land. The area cultivated by the family sector is 33,356 hectares which represents 4.6% of the total area of the district. Access to land is given by the traditional authorities and the administration of the district.


Agriculture is the dominant activity and involves the majority of local families. The main food crops of the family are: maize, sorghum and rice. Maize is the most cultivated, then the rice, sorghum and cassava. Plants, copra and cashew are also grown. In the production of food crops, the limiting factors are filled (76%), pest (70%) and lack of seeds (60%). There is not much foreign investment in agriculture and the families using natural methods and organic (organic fertilization) to increase soil fertility.


The most important domestic animals in the district, to the consumption of households are pigs, chickens, goats, ducks and cows. The bull is used for animal traction. The main constraints to expansion of livestock farming are the diseases and decapitalization of farmers (66% each), and lack of land for grazing (20%).

Hunting, fishing and wildlife

The wildlife, fishing and hunting are an important additional source of food for the families of the district and for its tourist potential. The wild species still existing in the district are antelopes, hippos and elephants.


Planting fruit trees, has priority in the district and generally the fruit (papaya, mango, citrus, guava, litchi and banana) is an important supplement in the diet of families. The main limitations are lack of seeds (60%), drought (24%), low soil quality (22%) and lack of funding. Besides the source of construction materials locally, the trees provide firewood and raw material for making charcoal. There are problems of deforestation and erosion. The water sector has to contend with serious problems, the communities are supplied with water from rivers and wells.


The district maintains strong trade links with the provincial capital of the district. The major limitation is the inability to produce surpluses in significant quantities. Formal credit system is implemented and the informal. Mecanhelas is accessible by road and in terms of telecommunications by telephone, telegraph and radio links.


In terms of infrastructure, the district has 2 health centers with fixed-post vaccination, 7 health posts, 2 primary schools in the second degree and 67 primary schools in the first degree. district has not yet been declared free of mines, so that there is a negative impact on economic activity and the free movement of persons.


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