HURRICANE HUDAH          - 12/3/2006      <--Prev : Next-->


In sympathy with the rest of the world, Mother Nature decided that Zimbabwe has not had enough woes recently, and unleashed the fury of Cyclone Hudah on to our already weakened systems.

Hurricane fever is hitting us hard for the first time ever in Zimbabwe, and with this small taste of a commonplace natural disaster in other parts of the world, we only now begin to realise how much others have suffered from hurricane havoc over the years.

Cyclone Hudah hammered the island of Madagascar over the last weekend and its tendrils wound their way successfully over a large part of Zimbabwe. The cyclone was preceded by a 7,5 magnitude earthquake which hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe just days before the cyclone.

The earthquake was concocted undoubtedly to coincide with our Illustrious Leader's 82nd birthday and tremors were felt as far as wide as Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls !!

We spent the first half of the year reeling under the effects of a severe drought and as a result the City Fathers put us all under stringent water rationing restrictions. Back to those halcyon days of "showering with a friend" and signs that read " Remember Not to Flush the Loo, unless you do a number Two "

Residents in the more affluent suburbs of Bulawayo spent four weeks without any water at all, and now those same residents are without power due to Cyclone Hudah !!

Having no water is probably a whole lot worse than having no power, or at least it was quite fun, for the first few days when our camping equipment came out of storage and the candlelight camaraderie took precedence over the annoyance factor.

But after a week, the need for a good hot meal and a nice long hot bath became paramount.

Households and supermarkets alike lost millions of dollars worth of foodstuffs in their deep-freezes. One supermarket nearly had a riot when they were offering "buy one get one free" of their perishables..... Only in the Third World, anywhere else they would be trashed after a two hour power cut !!

"Hurricane Survivor" parties were held in the city where those with power catered for and bathed those without. (Red wine fortunately does not need to be chilled)

Our own little suburb, which is not that in which the rich and famous live, luckily enough was not without power during the cyclone. But the strangest thing happened. For over a year now, we have had absolutely no street lights at all. Whatever light has been generated on our block emanated solely from the lights on top of our wall.

But suddenly, while the suburbs "on the other side of the railway line" were encapsulated in total darkness, our little suburb was illuminated ten fold by banks of brand spanking new street lights !!

I personally went for a nocturnal stroll with the doggies and counted "Four along the short side of the block, five along each long side of the block."

The City Fathers obviously either had a new consignment of the madly expensive but delicate two meter long fluorescent tubes, or we were granted some AID from a well wishing donor country.

Sadly it will not take long I am sure before some little darling will be along with his fly catty and take them out I am sure.

I still blush when I remember the words I used when I found a youngster with his pellet gun taking aim at my street lights.

Such words to issue forth from the mouth of the self professed Mayoress of Bulawayo !!

We Zimbabweans are a resilient lot you must admit. When there is no fuel at the service stations, we procure and store our own fuel. When there is no water, we sink bore-holes, dig wells, buy storage tanks.

When there is no electricity we beg borrow or steal a generator. When there is no refuse removal we all club together, gather together a few precious litres of fuel, and head for the municipal tip with the whole neighbourhood's trash.

And so on and so forth . Make another plan Zimbabwe, just KEEP ON KEEPING ON !!