Weather is a curious thing, and comes in many variants. Zimbabwe has been strongly affected by the phenomenon called El Niño, which may have given Europe warmer summers, but has caused far more challenging weather conditions south of the equator. Zimbabwe, among other countries, has been severely affected by droughts induced by El Niño, and as a consequence crop productions have failed, water sources are drying up, and living conditions are rough. It is estimated that around 4 million people in the rural areas will be in need of humanitarian food assistance in the months to come.
It is in relation to these rising needs, that Engineers without Borders Denmark now wants to go in to Zimbabwe, and why we are here now. This morning we finalised our program together with our partner, and I thought it was time to let you in on what we more specifically will be doing during our stay here. Tomorrow morning we will set course for Rusape, and go in to the Makoni District where we will look at and for projects within WASH, food security, environmental management and energy, to see if there are projects or challenges EWB-DK can help address. We will spend a few days in this district before travelling further to the Mutasa District, where we will go on field visits and have meetings for the same reasons, but also in relation to a food security project EWB-DK has been working on developing for a little while. It is hoped that by the end of these visits, it will be more clear how the project development will continue.
After these visits, we will travel to the west of Zimbabwe, where we will meet in Bulawayo with our Danish partner Care4People and our WASH representative from EWB-DK, and all together go to Lupane. The purpose for this is to evaluate and identify the needs for renovations and constructions of school buildings, development of an educational product we’re working on together with our partner, and keeping our eyes and ears open for other issues, challenges and possibilities. This will be the last part of our mission, and afterwards we’ll head back north and tell you all about it! The days are already going by so fast (I started writing this after our morning meeting, it is now 9pm), but for now Denmark feels surprisingly far away.
We’ve already had some interesting and fruitful meetings here in Harare, and 7am tomorrow we’ll be on our way for what will probably be the most intense part of our trip. I’m excited to see more of this country, and will try my best to share it with you as we go!