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INCHING IN THE SINKING Climate change reality in Bulawayo.

INCHING IN THE SINKING Climate change reality in Bulawayo. Image

Posted on 26 February 2020, by Nolwazi MHODİ

Nolwazi Mhodi

26 February 2020

Pic. Flooded house in Pumula South, Bulawayo. Courtesy of social media

Climate change has scaled up from just being more than talk or an idea to an ever-present reality. On February 23rd, the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe was covered in almost knee-high levels of water. In the history Bulawayo, such cases of flooding have never been experienced. According to Makhosi Mahlangu of the African Food Revolution, “Flash floods pose a danger to our food production as they not only wash away the tops soil-with the necessary nutrients for plant growth, they also damage agricultural tools and machinery.” The flooding of the city of kings is not the only report of changes in weather phenomena in Zimbabwe or Africa in general. Other cities in Zimbabwe   such as Hwange were some of the first to experience these flash floods.

In an interview with Milton Mncedisi Mhodi of NDUNAs, he emphasized the need for community members to take up action when it comes to disaster response actions. He suggested how the gully systems of water management could be effectively introduced in most urban suburbs as they are a relatively cheaper and faster solution to this new threat.

Echoing his word was Ntombi Doris Mpala, a mother of 6 and a local resident of Gwabalanda. Bulawayo.  She emphasized how the flooding was a source of panic for many parents. Because most of Zimbabwe’s young population is abroad, and those left behind to manage the situation are mostly the old and often the frail it makes the situation very stressful and hard for them. Her fears were also reiterated by Tresiah Dube a resident of Entumbane, she stressed how the flooding not only was dangerous for the environment but its destructive potential could have destroyed her property and furniture.

Indeed seasons have changed, and therefore, we must adapt to these changes by taking up action at personal and community levels. The total costs of the damages are unknown, but one can assume that there are financial and emotional repercussions to it. Flooding is not the only weather pattern that we can visibly attest to have changed in Africa. Heat waves, high and strong wind and cases of cyclone in countries such as Mozambique, the plague of locusts in Kenya and many other examples are experiencing the pressing climate change challenges.

Are there any simple solutions we could do? What measures can we take to prepare and respond to these threats? These are some of the questions we are trying to answer as the African Food Revolution, and we invite suggestions, comments, and ideas from not only Africans but the global community at large. Our goal is to build a liveable safe and fed Africa- and we can do it together.