Rural communities in Bulilima District will this year see improved harvests owed to good rains. The harvests come after a prolonged dry spell that had resulted in perennial crop losses over the years.
The abundant rains have seen most households planting both maize and millet in a region where small grain crops are predominantly grown. The envisaged harvest will increase household disposable income as funds meant for mealie meal will be channeled to other basic needs. In addition to economic benefit, most households will benefit from an improved diet.
Villagers who spoke to Habakkuk Trust officers during a monitoring visit expressed joy over the field produce.
“Although some of our crop was lost due to excessive rains, we are grateful for what we have received,” said Mrs. Sibekiwe Gumbo of Ngwala village in Huwana. Some farmers experienced crop loss from leaching as a result of oversaturated fields.
However, some villagers celebrated the harvest with mixed feelings due to an impending fear of wildlife invasions. Huwana has in the past experienced fatal consequences of Human-Wildlife conflict after a marauding herd of elephants trampled on an unsuspecting villager.
Seasonal migration of wild animals from the Hwange National Park to human settlements has also resulted in damage to infrastructure and increased hostility between locals and wild animals such as elephants and buffalos.
The heavy rains that engulfed Bulilima have defied climatic expectations with some climate experts describing the scenario as positives of climate change. The bulk of Bulilima District falls under agro-farming region 5 which is characterized by erratic rainfall.
Source: Habakkuk Trust