Forward planning vital

HARARE - The rainfall patterns in Zimbabwe  this season have baffled many people — from laymen to climate experts.

Areas that have received little or no rain for the last two decades suddenly received more than expected rainfall.

Many farmers are excited that they could once again, at least, grow crops that need plenty of rainfall.

A subsistence farmer from Buhera, a usually dry area, was very happy that he could now grow crops that are grown in high rainfall areas.

Sometimes these fluctuating rainfall patterns makes planning very difficult.

Weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable due to many factors chief among them the aspect of global warming.

This unpredictability of weather patterns can pose a threat to human life in terms of food security and natural disasters.

Too much rainfall may lead to a lot of leaching which may disrupt plant growth. It may  also cause flooding threatening human life, destroying property and spreading water- borne diseases.

In the broader sense of the definition of the term development or simply in political terms a country can only be classified as developed if it can respond swiftly to avert or deal with disasters whether natural or man-made.

Disaster preparedness is a sign of a functional government and if a government is unable to deal with such threats then politically it will be undeveloped.

One way of dealing with disasters or potential disasters is the ability to mobilise resources in terms of financial, material and human when such a situation arises.

In general terms, most developing countries throughout the world do not have reliable inbuilt capacity to deal with natural or man-made disasters or crises due to a number of factors ranging from skewed budgets where non-essential material things are prioritised over essential things in securing human life, poor planning and a general lack of resources among other factors.

With the little that they may have developing countries should invest more in trying to prevent disasters rather than reacting when tragedy comes as the costs will be too high for them.

The suffering that victims of disasters go through can only be described by the people who experience them.

If we look at what is happening at Tokwe- Mukorsi in Masvingo, it is clear that many people have been affected by the rising waters.

Basically life has come to a standstill

Children are not attending school which means their future is greatly jeopardised, pregnant women are also in danger and not to mention the elderly, physically challenged and those on life-prolonging HIV and Aids medication.

Living in makeshift structures can result in the breeding of diseases and other countless social ills.

Property and investment over the years have also been lost and some people whose only investment is in livestock may lose them and with no guarantee that they will benefit from the proceeds of the irrigation schemes that will be established as they may be resettled in faraway places.

Sometimes what other people see as development others see the opposite.

When dams are constructed so that food security can be guaranteed, those who are displaced during the implementation of the supposedly developmental programme might see it as being disruptive to their livelihoods and more still when they fail to benefit from it.

Whatever reasons or explanations there can be for the lack of prior planning, every Zimbabwean should help in a small way to alleviate the suffering which fellow citizens are going through in Tokwe-Mukorsi.

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