Newsletter

“I heard about the approaching cyclone Idai on social media and on news sites on different platforms. As the cyclone gathered speed and approached the Mozambican shores, several scenarios were plotted in terms of its path on land. On Sunday at around 6 in the morning I called the acting District Administrator and asked him to convene a stakeholders’ meeting on Monday to discuss and come up with contingency plans in preparation for the cyclone. He dismissed my plea! Come Monday we discussed this within TSURO and advised staff to closely monitor the approaching cyclone. On Tuesday, I assigned our project officer, Mr.Chitaka, as he was participating in a meeting on Infrastructure and Development chaired by DDF, to discuss the approaching cyclone. The meeting chair did not see the importance of the issue and thus it was not included in the agenda. At my home in Zimunda village there was a lot of commotion on Wednesday evening. I got out twice to check out on my mombes (cows) which were restless and mooing. The dogs had joined in and were howling. I tried to calm both the mombes and dogs without success. And this commotion continued till daylight. As I drove back home from Chimanimani village around noon on Thursday, it had started drizzling, and it was getting stronger by the hour. I got home and started making my preparations for the cyclone – loading chicken feeders to the bream, opening drains at some damming points and informing my staff to go to their homes. The following day, Friday, the rains were very intense accompanied by strong winds. By late afternoon it was very clear we were headed for a disaster, with the rivers which confluence near my home, Munyanyazi, Mhakwe and Biriiri rapidly swelling. By 6pm I left my home in the hills and headed for a night at the Hotsprings. Waters in the Biriiri, Shinja, and Mvumvumvu rivers were already splashing over the bridges when I made my escape into the flatlands.