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Effects of Climate Change, the Zimbabwe story

29 Aug 2016 at 23:14hrs | Views
Society is usually ignorant when committing sin, sin that bring heinous and disastrous situations, when not averted in time. Zimbabwe like all other countries has created its own sins that resulted in the calamitous climate change effects which we face today. On top of high rate of epidemics, incessant economic troubles, Zimbabwe is deep in the challenges and effects of climate change. The most major impacts posed by these effects in Zimbabwe are mostly El Nino induced that include heatwaves, floods and erratic rainfalls. Floods has destroyed all the hope in the remaining rural and urban infrastructure and to a larger extent led to massive loss of lives and left many homeless with nobody to fend for or to look after. These ElNino imposed floods have also destroyed crops as well as livestock leading to poor crop yield and lessened our national herd all leading to widespread rural mass hunger and untold poverty. Such also led to young people failing to complete their education since most of their fees are drawn from subsistence farming surplus.

The floods has led to displacements of families since most people has lost their homes. In Masvingo Province in Mwenezi district a lot of families who lived near Tokwe Mukosi have been displaced due to heavy floods and they stayed in wretched, environmentally unfriendly camps for almost three years due to lack of preparedness by the Zimbabwean government which widely suffering from acute economic challenges due to the fall of industry and other unwinding national challenges. According to the survey made by Red cross and Redcrescnt Zimbabwe, more than 160 homes were destroyed in 2015 around the country, at least more than 200 lives have been lost in Zimbabwe due floods in 2016 and more than 3000 families were displaced in Mwenezi district Masvingo province in 2014, most of these families lived and farmed around Tokwe Mukosi dam which got heavily flooded a lot of people died of waterborne and other related diseases that included Cholera, typhoid, dysentery and STIs, almost more than 200 lives was lost at Chingwizi camp were people were camped awaiting for relocation to decent homes. Facilities were bad and the conditions that included hunger, poor sanitation as well as poor accommodation increased the threat of diseases and moral decadence promoting random, uncontrolled and unsafe sex that perpetuated the spreading of STIs and HIV/AIDS. Though NGOS that included Care International, Red Cross Society and UNICEF provided amenities and food many dwellers at the camp died of hunger and famine related challenges since there was rampant corruption practices and food was also distributed according to which political party somebody belonged and supported, it had become partisan or by means of sexual favors and to a larger extent these food hand outs were sold to beneficiaries by authorities instead of freed distribution. The mentioned organizations spent at $3 million dollars in serving Chingwizi flood victims but the money and resources would be then be diverted for personal and hidden agenda by authorities designated to distribute those donations. According to the Herald newspaper of February 2015 and a provincial health survey at least in mid 2015 over 200 cases of STIs were reported at Chingwizi flood dwellers camp and it was reported that young girls will exchange sex for a $1 for survival. These arrangements were done by most at risk communities that include food distributors, health care givers, security personnel, vendors and other dwellers at the Flood camp. The situation of flood victims also disturbed the school going children who missed school due to deplorable and life threatening conditions and have led to limitations in the future of the affected children and their communities.

On top of the impact of floods. Zimbabwean communities mostly those in Southern districts and some in the northern districts lost crop yields due to erratic rainfall patterns as a result of a huge hunger challenge and a heatwaves that brought diseases and scarcity of water leading to serious and severe drought challenges. Many people died of hunger in Masvingo, Gwanda and Binga. In 2015/16 agricultural season Matebele land North province of Zimbabwe which covers areas like Binga, Jambezi, Mbembezi and Dete require food, reports indicate that 28,5 % of these rural communities require food schemes for them to reach next farming season. The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee indicate that most provinces in Zimbabwe require food interventions through both government and NGOS like FAO, UNICEF, REDCROSS. The committee indicated that Masvingo require 131 000 tones of maize, Manicaland 96000 tonnes,Matebeland South 61000 tones and Matebele land North 46tonnes respectively to avert starvation. The lagging behind economy of the country has been hard hit since most of the national budget has been used to import maize and cereals to proffer national food security. The health sector and other important sectors has been neglected while government took charge in importing food from other countries. In 2016 alone the Zimbabwe government has acquired 615 000 tones of Maize from Zambia and Ukraine. Sometime in February the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe who also chairs the cabinet committee on Food and Agriculture Hon Emmerson Munangagwa noted that Zimbabwe has received some funds for food security from EXIM bank China and also acquired 500 000 tones of maize from Ukraine. This clearly relate to us how the effects of climate have impacted on both the economic, food and social security of the Zimbabwe populace and that effects of climate are the greatest enemy of the Zimbabwean social and political economy and has and contributing negatively to the growth of the national economy while threatening the security of the country.

Sometime, late 2015 Zimbabwe was also hit by heatwaves which also are harmful to the lives of the people. The Meteorological services department{MSD}in Zimbabwe warned of heatwaves from September 2015 to February 2016 and the temperatures were soaring high in those months ranging from 33 to 47 degrees Celsius in most of those drought stricken areas of Matebeland, Masvingo, Midlands and Manicalind. The heatwaves are said to be linked with hot and dry winds blowing from dry regions near the equator. The Minister of health Cde David Parirenyatwa advised people to speak more about these heatwaves and their dangers while the city health departments advised citizens to drink lots of liquids mostly water but the other serious challenge was and is in most high density suburbs like Mbare, Highfields, Glenview, Budiriro and Mabvuku water is rationed and in some parts of these locations taps are dry people depend on shallow wells and thus water is scarce.

 In November 2015 a 50 seater Air Zimbabwe plane failed to land in Kariba due to soaring temperatures and the major supplier of hydroelectric power, Kariba dam reduced its generation capacity from 750 megawatts to 435 megawatts that led to a lot shed loading impacting production on the few remaining industries across the country further crippling the economy of the nation and stifling progress in the lives of the general populace. Heat waves have also impacted the reduction of other water sources that provide water for domestic, farming and industrial communities leading to spread of diseases, lack of water for irrigation farmers further crippling our food security. Further reports indicates that 700 death cases have been reported across the country due to the heatwave that affected almost every part of the country. The above challenges and impacts indicate that Zimbabwe require to foster adaptation methods, develop policy mechanisms and preparedness to these challenges, impacts imposed by the effects of climate change. Most of these impacts bring food insecurity, destroy the already falling apart economy, the social and moral fabric of the nation is greatly if not heavily affected. Zimbabwe need to start working on issues of adaptation through water harvesting methods, infrastructure development using durable material, decent housing for the citizens that can resist the threats of violent weather/climate patterns that are experienced in the country right now, improvised methods of irrigation schemes, reforestation and afforestation policy. Zimbabwean government, climate organizations and energy projects need to contribute to the advocacy and financing of anti- fossil and dirty energy campaigns that have become a global program to save its people from hunger, floods, diseases, heatwaves, water scarcity and the crippling of the economy. We need a better if not a best story out Zimbabwe towards the averting of ElNino induced challenges.

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