Let this drought be a wake-up call

HARARE - Zimbabwe is going through one of its worst droughts in decades and information released last week which showed that close to three million people are staring hunger in the face should be a wake-up call to the government.

Many experts have rated this year’s drought as the worst in 25 years. This drought will devastate communities, create food and water shortages, push up prices of food, and increase hardships for people as well as animals. It also exposes people to outbreaks of diseases.

There is also a need for us, as a nation, to act pro-actively to protect the people against cholera and other water-borne diseases.

As such, we would like to urge the government, the corporate world, non-governmental organisations and communities to mount a nationwide drive to raise money for water tanks and to support the drilling and equipping of boreholes to tap underground water.

Over the past few years, we have failed to invest enough at state and local levels to adequately fund water recycling programmes, storm water capture, groundwater recharge, improved urban conservation, increased agricultural irrigation efficiency and to ensure safe water for disadvantaged communities.

This drought calls for all of us to become proactive. We will all suffer in one way or another because of this drought and therefore we must act together as one.

It is imperative for the nation to actively and vigorously mitigate the effects of climate change. We have noted with great alarm how frequent and how destructive storms and droughts have become.

The drought we are experiencing began last year and scientists are forecasting drier conditions in the next coming years. The prospects certainly do not look good at all.

Let us use this drought as a wake-up call to attack climate change with all we have while we can. Government must move with greater speed in adopting a green agenda and getting schoolchildren and university students to become ecowarriors. Our very future is at stake.

As droughts become increasingly severe and prolonged in nature, the impact on our economy will manifest itself very dramatically

How people farm and how every single one of us uses water must now receive the constant attention of those who are in authority. We must all become water wise. Furthermore, we must act quickly to change acid mine water from remaining a liability into the future and make its conversion into usable water economically viable at once.

The drought and the fundamental problems it has exposed is a crisis for all Zimbabweans. It’s time for all of us to step up and work together to deal with it.

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