By Margaret Kamba
The disaster that struck Chimanimani a year ago recollects the Ngangu Township with a carpet of huge boulders with scattered pieces of cups, plates, door frames, corrugated iron sheets and buckets being the only evidence of prior human habitation.
Families, that one year ago, grappled with the loss of medical, educational and property records which had become a case of lost livelihoods, lost identities and lost investments. People literally woke up penniless, not that money mattered under those circumstances.
Some were rescued barely clothed and many disoriented and trying to get their full bearings. 1 680 households had been affected, with people from villages that included Tomeke, Bunga, Saurombe, Zihuli, Mwatsikenyeri, Nechirinda, Utseya and Manzou rendered homeless.
Those in the agricultural sector who awaited harvesting their fields of tomatoes woke up to washed away produce, while banana and avocado fields were destroyed. Livestock was washed away and people had to start life afresh.
Despite that sad tale occurring, life had to go on and today a year on, we celebrate the resilience of 22 smallholder pineapple farmers in Rusitu Valley, who did not give up.
Associated Foods Zimbabwe was importing pineapples from Mozambique following Cyclone Idai which incapacitated the local farmers to providing the needed more than 200 tonnes of pineapples annually.
ZimTrade is working with the 22 smallholder pineapple farmers towards attaining an organic certification, which will make it easy to export to Europe.
Agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe and the Agrarian Land Reform Programme witnessed the maiming and loss of life of many gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. The New Dispensation seeing the importance of the land, has worked tirelessly to ensure that the sector is well funded and equipped to bring back the basket status of Zimbabwe again.
It is therefore imperative for each person awarded with the land to fully utilize it and eradicate hunger by all means necessary.