In cases of disaster, Africa needs Limatunda

Dear nephew Milambo

GREETING from this city which is being burned slowly by the angry gods.

I hope that by the grace of Limatunda you and your family are doing okay, and all the folks in my beloved Ukumbisiganga.

Here in the city nothing much has changed, although I believe that the god of sun has decided to lower it a few inches more, because it is burning like crazy.

You will not believe it my dear boy, but nowadays I can take a shower three or four times a day, which might give you the idea of how hot it is.

I understand that the situation is not different in Tabora, because there is someone who came to this city who said that the land of our ancestors is also going through a hot spell.

But someone said that soon the rainy season will be upon us, so we should not panic, but the way I know this city my dear boy, when the rains come there will be all the reason to panic.

I remember there was a time this city almost went under the water because of floods which swept hundreds of houses after the rain pounded for almost three hours nonstop.

My dear boy, it was only luck and the grace of Liwelelo that we survived, and our situation was made better because as you know our house is elevated and stands above most of the houses.

I remember after the rain had subsided I and your aunt went to the balcony and witnessed the chaos which was happening outside, because most houses were surrounded by water.

We watched as hundreds of home items were swept by behind our house, and I remember I watched in amusement as a massive refrigerator hurtled down followed by a desperate dog clinging on a tiny branch.

That is why I am scared when I know that another similar scene might be replayed soon when the rains come knocking, because nothing has been done to repair the pathetic drainage system.

It is sad my dear son, but in many parts of this city today, there is a great need for properly managed sustainable drainage systems in order to help manage surface water runoff.

But also the problem might be because neighbourhoods keep springing up without proper planning, which also involves planning for drainage and sewage or waste disposal, and you might think that these people are civilised, but it is common residents regularly dumping their waste in gutters, and this clogs the gutters and prevents the flow of water, causing the gutters to overflow.

my dear son, here in the confused city, it is common to see flooded streets with litter floating everywhere after a short period of rainfall, it is as if people don’t know that such situations create very unsanitary conditions for residents of the neighbourhoods and contribute to the degradation of the environment.

Drainage systems are constructed to ensure that waste water and sewage is transported neatly to disposal points, thereby keeping the environment well drained and free of waste.

Anyway, I hope that this time around the gods of rain will be lenient on us and give us modest rain, because I know we are not ready for devastating effects of major rainfall.

In fact, my dear son I know that most African countries, including our beloved country, are ill prepared for most emergency cases, that is why when a natural calamity takes place we perish like house flies.

I know now you have a television set in your house my dear boy, that is why I know that you saw the earthquake in that country called Turkey, where thousands of people lost their lives.

I was trying to imagine what if something devastating as that had happened in an African country, am sure that number would have doubled.

The problem with us Africans my dear son is that we often looked at disasters as events that happen, then we go back to normal life… this is no longer possible due to the high cost of disasters.

Looking at the devastation of that earthquake made to painfully realise that our state of preparedness is woefully inadequate, and as I told you some time back climate change is the starkest truth, perhaps, that we have to start to manage as a planet.

I understand that the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey on February 6 killed at least 45,000 people, rendered millions homeless across almost a dozen cities and caused immediate damage estimated at $34 billion – or roughly 4 per cent of the country’s annual economic output, now imagine if it had happened in African country.

Anyway, that is why I always tell you that Limatunda loves this continent a lot, that is why most disasters take place somewhere else, and I am sure too that all the African ancestors will not allow Liwelelo to unleash any catastrophe on us.

I was talking to Hemedi the other day and he told me that he is planning to marry Rajabu’s youngest daughter, and that all the arrangements are ready.

Hemedi getting himself a third wife is not something to worry about my dear son, but if I remember correctly, Rajabu’s youngest daughter is barely 15 years.

My dear son, I know that it is because of poverty which is making Rajabu to marry off his daughter at that age, but believe me, this is not right.

From what I know at my age, I know that poverty pushes girls like Rajabu’s daughter out of school and into early marriage, but what they don’t know is that this subsequently pulls the girl into a cycle of poverty, which often repeats itself, generation to generation.

I told Hemedi that if he has a speck of decency in him he should look for a third wife somewhere else and let that poor child continue with her education, and soon after talking to Hemedi I called Rajabu that if he marries off her daughter at that age then I will personally make sure he spends a considerable number of years behind bars.

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