Beira, Sofala, Mozambique
Equipment and Infrastructures
First, the “Tower of Chiveve” was built in wood and zinc in 1891 and was briefly used as a lighthouse. After the construction of the “Tower of Ponta Gêa”, built a year later in the same materials, the “Tower of Chiveve” stopped being used for that purpose. Although a red light placed at the top served to mark the anchorage. In December 1893 it was adapted as an observatory, becoming the seat of the Meteorological Services of the Territory of Manica and Sofala, being used as such until 1908. The “Tower of Ponta Gêa” then served as a landmark, a semaphore point and lighthouse. It collapsed at daybreak on the 11th February 1918 due to the action of the sea, because “the connection of masonry between the metal structures and the wood stakes of the foundation had yielded”.
The project for the construction of the Lighthouse of Macúti was approved on the 5th May 1903. It consisted of a tronconic tower 28 metres high, equipped with a rotating lighthouse beacon with a range of 18 miles. The engineer Carlos Roma Machado de Faria e Maia was responsible for the construction and it was inaugurated on the 2nd January 1904. A description published in Revista de Manica e Sofala (Lisboa, year I, no. 1, 1904, p. 3 and following) presents it as follows: “It is formed by a lower body with 11.4 metres front in the shape of a square, with a floor divided into six rooms, which will be used to house the lighthouse keepers as well as for workshops and the storage of oil and lights. At the middle of the building stands the central column of the lighthouse, 14 metres high and divided into two sections; the lower one, to five metres, is completely made of Coignet concrete, with wooden stairs embebed the walls, and with the column connected to the exterior walls through iron bars that pass under the steps. Above the terrace floor, the central section is made of iron and brick; at the top of the masonry tower still stands a decagon-shaped chamber of iron and brick, 2.50m high, which houses the mechanism for the rotation of the lamps and the weight mechanism contained in the central iron column. [...] The lower chamber has a door which communicates with the veranda and is used to execute the manoeuvre of the mariette; the later is placed on a pole, with the corresponding spar, built in the upper half of the medium tube. [...] The underground area holds four bays for the storage of oil, tools and water; at the back was built a small house for storage, to house indigenous workers at the lighthouse, and stables.”
As a result of the erosion, the lighthouse was at risk. Therefore, the lantern was dismantled in February 1918. It was fitted with a 50,000 candlepower lamp from Chance Brothers of London, including a lightning conductor, signal mast, acoustic siren and a telegraph line connecting to the Port Captaincy.