22 December 2012

Zimbabwe: The Floodgates of the Sky Are Open

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
File photo: The rains have caused widespread damage to roads leaving some areas impassable.


You would not have anticipated it.

It was a perfect day for a family outing; some were going up and down while others went in and out, from one shop to another.

Carefree, everyone seemed to be, enjoying whatever they were doing. From a distance they looked like tiny objects.

The whole city was dotted with man, women and children alike.

What started as a smile for most girls clad in back outs or rather clothes of near nakedness as some would want to call them -- soon turned into a frown, a laugh into sadness as dark clouds pregnant with water enveloped the sky.

Suddenly, there was a big rumble, followed by a deluge of rainfall.

The rains are upon us, the rain season is here.

It is that time of the year when people take to the fields and do what they know best in agriculture.

A time that most aspiring commercial farmers living in most of Zimbabwe's urban areas, take their hoes to work on any open space they see uncovered in and around their suburbs fending for their children, all the same farming is farming small scale or large, the rains are here.

Our thoughts ponder day in day out wondering if climatic changes are not going to get the best of us, taking the rains when we want them the most or rather make them occasional when we really need a down pour, a case experienced in the previous seasons in most parts of the country.

This phenomenon has made the rain season in Zimbabwe difficult to predict for most farmers in the country due to climatic changes related to global warming.

The puzzle associated with this is the types of plants to go for, early or late maturing ones or even drought resistant ones. Climatic changes are really a cause for concern.

In some areas in Zimbabwe, particularly low- lying ones, floods cause havoc washing away houses along with foodstuffs, clothes and at times even the owners and their children. Livestock such as goats and sheep are not spared by the angry waters.

A lot of people lose their lives during this time of the year when rivers flood.

Drunkards are swept away coming home late from beerhalls while some unfortunate farmers get caught up coming from their fields.

These are summaries typical during the rain season in rural areas like Muzarabani and it is advisable to exercise extreme caution for those staying near rivers.

During this period, thunder and lightning are an ever-present hazard characterised by a big rumble and a terrifying bolt in the sky.

Road accidents are many during this period claiming many precious lives. Drivers need to exercise extreme caution when roads get slippery due to the rains.

It is that time again when commuter operators hike fares taking advantage of passengers who will be at the receiving end and in the heavy rains.

The rain season has surely dawned.

It is now approaching late afternoon and the once brightly glowing eye of God which painted smiles on many a people's faces begin to close gradually. It was raining no doubt. Heavenly calendars had encircled that Saturday as the day that skies were going to open without compromising.

For women beauty lies in the hair, as they seem more worried about their hair, allowing the rest of their bodies to be soaked.

Men, on the other hand, walk boldly like nothing is happening.

But the funny part is that they too are concerned about rain soaking the head, which is turned over to one side leaving the other exposed to the rain - some form of cover hah!

Smartly dressed boys and girls do not take long to turn shabby as the rains pour down without discrimination.

Once they were majestic walks, soon to be marches, taking no time to be jogs, to assume three quarter paces and finally pronounced sprinting, all running away from the heavenly bath.

The downpour started while I was enjoying a special treat of music from the music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. I was, however, bold enough to resist it till the music icon was done, what an end to a good afternoon.

Those who are not easily shaken started to run for dear life as the rains left them with no option. Some even foolishly convinced themselves that it was a passing phase, but to their surprise, it took the whole of the remaining part of the afternoon straight down to evening.

It felt like the floodgates of heaven had been opened as the rains hit the earth with such pronounced intensity; it was indeed raining cats and dogs.

A perfect moment for celebrations in the neighbourhood especially in the rural homes, with kids holding each others' hands looking up to the skies making a big circle singing, 'Mvura nayanaya tidye mupunga" celebrating the coming down of the precious resource.

The rains are upon us and the rain season is here.

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

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