From El Nino Drought to Floods, Zimbabwe’s Double Trouble
From El Nino Drought to Floods, Zimbabwe’s Double Trouble.
Africa, Aid, Climate Change, Combating Desertification and Drought, Development & Aid, Environment, Featured, Food & Agriculture, Headlines, Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Poverty & SDGs, Water & Sanitation HARARE, Mar 3 2017 (IPS) – Dairai Churu, 53, sits with his chin cupped in his palms next to mounds of rubble from his destroyed makeshift home in the Caledonia informal settlement approximately 30 kilometers east of Harare, thanks to the floods that have inundated Zimbabwe since the end of last year.
From 2015 to mid-2016, the El Nino-induced drought also hit him hard, rendering his entire family hungry.
All my crops in 2015 were wiped out by the El Nino heat and this year came the floods, which also suffocated all my maize and it means another drought for me and my family,” Churu told IPS.
I don’t know what else to say,” Churu said.
With drought amidst the floods across many parts of this Southern African nation, the Poverty Reduction Forum Trust (PRFT) has been on record in the media here saying most Zimbabwean urban residents are relying on urban agriculture for sustenance owing to poverty.
This year’s floods, which are a direct effect of the El Nino weather, are the worst in 35 years and are now even worsening and bearing impacts on farming, health and livelihoods in developing countries like Zimbabwe,” Eldred Nhemachema, a meteorological expert based in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, told IPS.
Consequently, this Southern African nation this year declared a national emergency, as harvests here face devastation from the floods resulting in soaring food prices countrywide, according to the UN World Food Programme.
Based on this year’s February update from the country’s Department of Civil Protection, at least 117 people died since the beginning of the rainy season in October last year.
And for many Zimbabweans like Churu, who were earlier hit by the El Nino-induced drought, it is now double trouble.