GIS Applications on the Essential Public Services in Mozambique

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Water supply and health are considered essential public services and are therefore a fundamental right for human development. The use of GIS in public services has had a tremendous growth as result of the availability of various information technology services and software, and is currently being considered useful to the understanding and treatment of health problems in different geographic areas and and optimize the locations of infrastructure and public services. The aim of this study is to measure the geographic accessibility of population to existing healthcare centers, and find the most suitable locations for small dams/water reservoirs in the Tete province region, Mozambique, which has a pronounced water deficit. The objectives were achieved using the GIS approach, where accessibility to health services was first measured using travel time and driving scenarios to the health centers. On the other hand, to find the most suitable locations for small dams / reservoirs a multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) analysis through an Analytic Hierarchical Process (AHP) were implemented, including local experts ’consultation. The study consider 9 criteria including slope, elevation, rainfall, stream density, lineaments, soil, land-use, distance to roads and distance to villages as the most important criteria in locating a dam.Findings from this study highlight accessibility problems, especially in the walking scenario, in which 90.2% of Mozambique was considered an underserved area. In this scenario, Maputo City (69.8%) is the province with the greatest coverage of HC. On the other hand, Tete (93.4%), Cabo Delgado (93%) and Gaza (92.8%) are the provinces with the most underserved areas. The driving scenario was less problematic, with about 66.9 % of Mozambique being considered a served area. For dam/reservoir site location study, the results show three main categories of suitability: “Not suitable” (15% of total area), “Modestly suitable” (78%), and “Suitable” (7%). We found that 92% abandoned small dams/reservoirs were in areas classified as “Modestly suitable” confirming the robustness of our model. We also found that most of the dams/reservoirs currently operating (78%) and planned (73%) are in modestly suitable areas. This finding suggests that the decision to construct dams/reservoirs may not have considered the most critical suitability factors identified in this study. The mapped outputs may have policy implications and could be used for future decision-making processes and analysis for both the health and water resources management
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS)
  • Cabral, Pedro, Supervisor
Award date7 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2021


  • Essential public services
  • Accessibility
  • Health centers
  • Water scarcity
  • Dams/reservoir
  • Multi-criteria evaluation
  • Geographic information systems
  • Mozambique


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