In whatever mood the weather comes . . . veld fire

Stephen Mpofu, Perspective

“WHETHER the weather be good, whether the weather be bad we shall weather the weather.”
The above, in a nutshell, is the mood that Zimbabweans — millions of us to be precise — should wear as global warming repeatedly announces rather triumphantly: “Here I come and thanks to your repeated bombardment of ozone, the roadblock in our way to do business on earth.”

The above, quoted weather remarks obviously do sound fictional to many reading them, but they stand solidly valid when one considers the ways in which nations have over the years spewed carbon gases into the atmosphere and in the process thinning ozone, the layer that protects earth from the sun’s dangerous rays thereby causing global warming which spawns recurrent droughts as are already experienced in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the global village with floods such as Zimbabwe experienced in the eastern part of our country with homes and other properties being destroyed or washed away in the process.

In a nutshell global warming is not fictional but a real phenomenon with weather forecasts for Zimbabwe earlier this week pointing to below normal rainfall in the Midlands and Matabeleland region in the 2023-2024 cropping season.

Any lean rainfall season such as the one already forecast in the coming months immediately reminds one of the United States of America packing its bags and walking out of the Paris Agreement on Global Warming a few years ago and in the process giving American factory chimneys carte blanche freedom to pump carbon gases into the upper atmosphere with coal mines following suit as if in competition with other countries elsewhere that reneged on the need to collectively prevent actions that brutally reduced the ozone layer to a laughing stock with obvious consequences on ozone.

Add to those corrosive blows on ozone factory chimneys here in Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the African continent which have repeatedly spewed carbon gases into the atmosphere, aggravating the damage on ozone and making it difficult for trees to succeed in their otherwise natural role of absorbing and sinking carbon gases and in the process reducing the damage on the ozone layer.

Oh, veld fires that wreak havoc in Zimbabwe as some people foolishly hunt with fire or use fire or cut trees to clear land for agriculture or for construction of new homes or for firewood to sell in urban areas, for instance and in the process inducing global warming that has seen governments including our own holding begging bowls for food for the hungry in areas stricken by drought because of global warming.

In our country, with harmonised elections every five years as a national event on the calendar already done this year on August 23 greater attention should now be focused on preventing millions of bellies becoming hollow especially in rural areas where soils are prone to perennial droughts in some cases.
But thanks to recent public commitments by President Mnangagwa to the effect that greater attention would now be focused on bettering the lives of rural communities where the majority of Zimbabweans live, what with boreholes being drilled and dams constructed for irrigation purposes as well as for domestic use.

But, of course, urban dwellers will not be cinderellad by the Government’s increased efforts on bettering the lives of rural communities which are breadbaskets for urban dwellers.

The need appears imperative to put greater emphasis on the production of small grains such as sorghum, pearl millet as well as raphoko all of which are drought resistant.

Our country may have gained an upper hand against the effects of global warming after adopting pfumvudza/intwasa to beat drought.

Maize is prone to failure during droughts.

Added to the above efforts against desertification resulting particularly from reckless cutting down of trees for timber to build new homes or to sell as firewood or clear woodlands for the construction of new homes, should also take centre stage.

Tree planting by villagers in the Beitbridge area, for instance, should be encouraged in other areas to prevent desertification which is an anathema to rainfall.

Where forests stand risks of being wiped out with disastrous consequences for humanity the Forestry Commission might wish to consider adopting a Brazilian practice under which bats are kept in areas where forests are recklessly denuded to prevent them from being completely wiped out.

Bats eat tree seeds and the bird’s seed droppings regenerate as additional tree plants.

After his re-election President Mnangagwa reiterated the mantra, a country is built/developed by its own people and said his Government would proceed in fulfilling promises made during the election period to make Zimbabwe a better place to live for all.

But sadly, however, except for one small opposition political party that also lost in the elections but said the views of other parties should be taken into consideration in developing our motherland, none of the bigger opposition party losers in the elections have voiced any commitment to working harder in developing the country and in the process themselves in good stead for applause having greater public support come 2028 harmonised elections.

Does the loud silence mean the opposition gurus intent on tripping the President, his party and the Government in collusion with Western imperialist proponents of regime change in hopes, perhaps, of causing the ruling party to lose popularity in the next harmonised elections?
Only they, Zanu-PF’s rivals can answer the question.

For the rest of Zimbabweans, let us put our shoulders to the wheel, as the saying goes, and take the only country we call our own into a brave new future for all.

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