Zimbabwe’s Unprecedented Misfortune: The Perils of Climate Change

Remarkably, the El Nino effect is ghosting human lives back again; Zimbabwe’s food insecurity is reaching dangerous levels whilst ground policies are taking strange turns. Time has stood still to welcome the new age of climate crisis; now, more than ever, anthropogenic actions are leading towards self-destructing developments. This year more than 35% percent of Zimbabweans are going to face food shortages. Mass deaths via malnutrition is on the cards; abnormal weather patterns via changes in the ocean temperatures should have been Harare’s least concerns; yet, the southernmost African nation could only collect a single window of monsoon rain, altogether out of five. Climate Change is not only real, but it is now turning tables, forcing an already defeated nation to determine contingencies that are previously unheard of. The world is on the verge of witnessing an anti-hypothetical scenario of shrinking food supplies. Imagine a food emergency like that emanating from a natural disaster but one that would last in the same intensity for years. Zimbabwe is on the brink.

Technology conquers actions; information on climate change can define policies that could somewhat reduce misfortunes. However, antithetic destiny has camouflaged Zimbabwe’s options. In good spirits, the African nation took measures to launch a widespread agricultural campaign, in order to grow maize that requires exceeding water supplies. Originally, such self-slaughter was not intended, despite lacking climate centered policies, administrators can be forgiven for not anticipating startling outcomes. Scientifically, it was possible that all anthropogenic reasons that led to El Nino could affect a poor nation, thousand of miles away in Africa. It was, however, not possible to determine the tragedy of untimeliness. Zimbabwe’s misery is the world’s harshest lesson. It is the modern-day non-fiction of nature’s curse on humanity. The current food crisis is alarm bells over the uncertainties that comes along with a climatic mishap. Plus, the poisonous mixture of prejudiced action is dominating the very foundation of rationality.

Consider solutions that are available for Zimbabwe in the short run. International aid might suffice for time; yet, assumedly, there must be a longitudinal fix in place. Harare’s decision to import maize from Uganda is both conventional and vice-versa. Forgivably, it is also importing corn from the neighbor with immense surplus. The plan is extremely questionable, yet nature has chosen the ill-fated nation with open arms. The enormity of an environment led humanitarian crisis might have led to a spin, but it is impossible to analyze the situation with facts of vegetable markets in Zimbabwe having to destroy supplies. Simply, people are unable to pay for cheap commodities. Climate change is stinging worse than the famous puff adder; in a series of misfortunes, the entire economy is on the brink.

It is not worrisome, while one third of the entire food production in the world goes to waste, figures from Zimbabwe might be manipulated for a metaphoric excuse. Nevertheless, doubts remain; disbelief lives on. Bakery outlets in the country have raised average prices by more than 17%; for a society that feeds on staple bread items, it is strangling to digest. Double swords are at play, on one hand, economic resources are being re-directed to solve lack of production. On the other hand, prices are being raised to achieve healthy consumption. The conjunction does not suffice economic reasoning. It is now evident that climate change can force such anomalies. Still, intelligence and rationale fail. Reportedly, the government is looking to export a rare nutritious worm, amacimbi, to boost trade. European nations lodge greater demand for dietary needs while Zimbabwe is looking to improve competitive advantage. The world will witness further incongruity before the food supplies can persist. Zimbabwe is on the brink.

Sisir Devkota
Sisir Devkota
Global Affairs Analyst based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Founder, Trainer & Researcher at "The Protocol" which facilitates analytical research on current affairs and workshops on Diplomacy and Leadership. Masters of Social Science in Democracy & Global Transformations from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Author for a book chapter titled as "Armed Conflicts in South Asia 2013".