Zimbabwe ripped apart by Cyclone Idai

Published: March 30, 2019

Cyclone Idai which had hit Zimbabwe earlier this month had caused massive flash floods and landslides which have completely destroyed huge tracts of cornfields in Zimbabwe’s main agricultural provinces like Manicaland and Masvingo. This has led to the increasing issue of food insecurity in the African country. Farmers in the villages of Chipinge and Chimanimani, the worst-affected villages of Manicaland which lies nearly 500km from Harare, the capital, said that the cyclone had tore the region apart and wiped out the already poor produce of crop. Latter had already been affected by the El Nino-induced drought.

Farmers have lost their entire produce due to strong winds and the gushing flood waters. As the water level went down, the fields have been infected by many pests which are eating on the leftover maize.

Cyclone Idai has been labelled by the United Nations as the one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of the continent. Idai had made landfall in Mozambique on March 14 before it moved its way to Zimbabwe and Malawi. In Mozambique alone the tales of sorrow are endless as 500 people have been killed and over 600,000 have been displaced. Malawi has had lesser number of deaths while in Zimbabwe, the storm left atleast 185 people dead and displaced a huge number of 270,000 who are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

It was in February 2019, that UN had stated that nearly 1 million people in Zimbabwe were faced with emergency levels of food insecurity. This has been due to a drought and an extended economic crisis in the nation. Zimbabwe’s Secretary for Agriculture has stated that the country will have to import grains to combat the growing shortages. Even the official crop assessment report for 2019 will now stand delayed in the wake of the Cyclone.

As per the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe’s Farmer’s Union, Paul Zakariya, the country will have to import nearly 900,000 metric tonnes of grains in 2019 to cover the shortage which has been brought about by the drought followed by the monstrous Cyclone. Farmers have left with nothing to rely upon as everything that was left after the prolonged dry spell was washed away in heavy flooding.

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