El Nino’s impact on festive celebrations


CHIPO Sigauke (not her real name) aged twelve has always been excited by Christmas celebrations when her mum and dad treated her with all the goodies. Special dishes were prepared and there was no limit on how many pieces of meat each person could eat.

Families would gather eating and drinking not thinking of tomorrow. Christmas celebrations were always exciting, save for that of 2023 which was seriously affected by El Nino weather phenomenon.

El Nino is usually associated with droughts. Most parents failed to do the usually as they were saving to buy grain to sustain their families throughout the looming drought.

This reporter held interviews with Chipinge residents on how El Nino serious affected the 2023 festive season.

Chipinge peasant farmer, Prosper Muyambo (53) confirmed that the projection of a drought had affected their spending on Christmas.

“This year because of the projected drought, all the little that I had saved to spend on Christmas, was diverted to purchase food. I failed to buy my three children new clothes as we used to do in previous years,” he said.

Mbuya aChipo from Chimiro village also echoed the similar sentiments.

Taiziya kisimusi riri rebuso,chikafu chaizara mumatsero asi nyamwaka zvakorera. Kamare kangu kepenjeni ndakatokatengesera tini remabonere ngekuti atidi kufukama,” she said. (During Christmans we would eat dishfuls of food but this year we failed to do it. I used my pension allowances to buy grain).

Mr Simango, a businessman at Mukomba Shopping Centre lamented of poor cash flow.

“We were used to see people buying luxurious commodities for Christmas but this year it was totally different. The cash flow was the poorest since I ventured into business five years ago,” he said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that a strong El Nino occurrence would occur between October 2023 and March 2024. This natural phenomenon is expected to bring droughts in Zimbabwe.

The current El Nino is expected to be strongly felt in the southern parts of the Zimbabwe.

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