The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Where Rains Are Are Like Manna!

A DARK cumulonimbus cloud covers the sky and the thunderclap brings a fierce roaring from heaven. The trees shake vigorously from the strong winds and is becomes clear that the floodgates of heaven are preparing to open up. Terrified little children clutch and hide behind their mothers as the thunder roars in the aftermath the lightning flashes.

Those wearing red material quickly remove the attire as they mythically believe that the colour red insults the gods.

Without much ado, the ground is soaked by rainwater, the rains fill the streams and the flowing brown water fills the array of man made water holes.

At this time, women keep a close eye on the buckets they have put under eaves of the thatch to collect water from the roof.

As soon as the birds start flying in the sky and the chickens start to shake off the water on the feathers as they move around the homestead then it is a sign that the rain has stopped, everyone resume to their normal duties feeling cooler and having more hope on the future. As a lot has been said and written about the recent heavy downpours in the country, with some causing a negative impact in some communities, the recent heavy downpour tells a different story in the Binga community and some parts of Matabeleland North.

In these places waiting for the rain is like waiting for Christmas in June. The area is known for very low rainfall which is normally far below the average.

The high temperatures and a scorching sun characterise the region. In such an environment having rain is like receiving manna from heaven.

Chief Pashu from Binga said the prevailing rains have brought hope in the community, he says, finally his area has become a wetland after a long waiting.

He also says we should always thank God for the rains and not curse the rains.

"The Pashu community and Binga as a whole has been known of having little or no rain, at all,

"We have been having a problem with rain in our area for years now" said Chief Pashu.

He also said his area has been experiencing a lot of drought in the past years which has been influencing negatively the socio-economic way of life of Binga.

Chief Pashu said most of the water sources in the Pashu area are now full; it is something that the area has needed for the past years.

"As traditional leaders we should never curse the gods for bringing rains, they are a blessing especially to us from this region.

"Despite the limited farming inputs in areas such as Lusulu in Binga, this farming season may bring us good yields if the rains continue to come at such a pace," said Chief Pashu.

Although there are just few places which are on the lower part of the area such as lower Pashu which had flash floodS, Chief Pashu said we should always look at the brighter of the rains.

"One can deal with flash floods by opening some drains that diverts the blocked water in to some areas or irrigation schemes rather than to sit, wait and curse God for the rains," he said.

Mr Wisdom Bushe Neshavi, a hunting agent from the province, also said the rains in Binga have been good the community and as well as the animals in the conserved areas and game parks.

"Since the province is well known for animal conservation and cattle ranching, our animals this time will survive as the there are many available grazing lands for both domestic animals and wildlife," he said.

The rain has also increased water in all the water sources which also increases the fishing activities in Binga.

"The more water the water sources get the more the fish breed, therefore, giving an increase in the fishing markets of Binga," said Mr Neshavi.

He said the previously fishing markets got limited products due to some reason which also was the limited places for the breeding of fish. This season Binga and most of the areas in Matabeleland North has been receiving rainfall that is far above the average.

Previously the province received the least rainfall that also accelerated drought and poverty.

According to the Met Department the drastic change of climate has been nationwide with some places experiencing floods. Some parts of Matabeleland North have experienced the flood but a heavy downpour is better than no rain at all.

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