Of Coffee With The Cyclone Aftermath

If you were having coffee with me, I would welcome you to this tiny glimpse of my life, and we would gaze into it as a clairvoyant would into a crystal ball or maybe a fortuneteller reading tea-leaves from the bottom of a cup of tea.

storm in a tea cup

I see a storm in this cup, like when you stir cup of tea with spoon so hard that it spins round and round ever so violently just like a cyclone, and some even splashes over the edge of the cup eerily like a river in flood bursting its banks; is that how someone came up with the imagery of a storm in tea cup I wonder.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Berina a fellow blogging friend from Nairobi Kenya, made a thoughtful comment that left me with this thought stuck in my head after reading a previous blog post of Coffee With A Cyclone.

Imagine having a cup of coffee with a Cyclone as a guest and having a conversation with it, asking it all sorts of questions like; why are you so furious, why do you spin round and round like that, doesnt it make you dizzy; most of all, what’s with the destruction, are you punishing people for being bad?

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that it’s the aftermath of Cyclone Idai and the full impact of the storm is now coming into devastating perspective. Initially, the number of fatalities were reported to be in the low double digits figures and now they are in the mid triple digit figures with chances of them getting even higher four digit numbers, in what has been reported as being the worst disaster to hit  the Southern African region.

Imagine, 90% of the port city of Beira Mozambique destroyed and a resultant inland ocean 50 kilometers (31 miles) wide where villages and farms used to be.

Inland ocean after flooding

In eastern Zimbabwe there’s areas where muddy rubble marks where settlements used to be and there’s a place with stones which no one can explain, one day there were houses and now this

Rocks in chimanimani

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that even though there’s been such devastation the tragedy has brought a certain unity and a spirit of purpose as people from all walks of life came together to chip in where they can. One particular story that stood out was of an elderly lady who walked almost 3km to make her donation, because she could not afford commuter fare; if that does not humble you, then something is wrong with a crucial part of your being.

Gogo walks 3km to donate

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that after seeing footage of marooned people being rescued from tree tops I was surprised, pleased and inspired to see a mobile network provider rope in its resources to help with rescue missions by sending a team of drones  to scout remote areas then relay information so helicopters can be effectively deployed for rescue

cumii drone rescuing survivors of cyclone idai

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you how it feels like it’s the citizens who have to be proactive in their own survival than waiting for the government which seems preoccupied with other things like gaining political mileage for things which should be basic responsibilities, we wont even talk of how officials transported sofas to sit on while assessing the damage instead carrying extra provisions or how the president is said to have chartered a plane from the UAE to fly him for an hour flight and though declaring days of national mourning was a nice gesture more could have been done than just jetting off to attend inaugural SADC Freedom Day celebrations.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell its ironic while one half of the country is in flood the other half is in a rather dry state with the Kariba Dam at alarming levels.

Kariba dam

The levels are so low that they have had to cut down power generation at the Hydro-electric power plant and looks like we might have to brace for a round of electricity rationing(load-shedding) in the coming days.

If you were having coffee with, I would tell you that the people affected by the cyclone are more than just statistics they are someone’s loved one, they have names, they had homes  and they had dreams, which is why I have purposely tried not to include any numbers in my post, I did not want them remembered as stats, but as someone you could have known, a relation, a friend, a stranger who you bumped into at the market, maybe a blogger whose site you might have even read….

On that rather somber tip, I would tell you that this is the second day of National mourning for the victims of cyclone Idai, we survive, heal, remember and rebuild.

Hope your week is blessed and remember us in your thoughts and prayers.

~B

PS

There’s website by the International Committee of the Red Cross to list missing family members or to mark yourself as safe after the cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to hopefully link family who have separated by the cyclone

Update:

Zimbabwean businessman and entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa made a pledge that when this is all over he wants to meet the gogo who walked 3km to make her donation and build her a house anywhere in Zimbabwe, solar powered and have running water and a monthly allowance $1000 for life

Strive Masiyiwa pledges donation to gogo

29 Comments

  1. oh man, it is sad to see Beira turning into a ghost town… all the lives lost , all the babies in the incubator , all the mom’s who lost their baby houses without even getting to know them,,, families losing hope ,losing their homes ,people increasing the food prices… it breaks my heart as I can’t help my people .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its been an ordeal.. which is by no means over, still the priority now is the survivors, already I am hearing about cholera cases being reported and food chaos at food distribution centers and if not handled properly its going to get hella ugly
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The devastation is just unimaginable. It is good that people are helping out, even those who could be asking for help themselves. Hopefully things get better for the survivors, perhaps as more aid reaches them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At first the extent of the damage had seemed minor on account of that the fury of the storm had taken out not only power lines, but cell towers for communication, so the real story of whats been happening on the ground was on a back burn,some people have been through a horrific ordeal and for some its not anywhere near over.
      Thank you for the visit
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish to have coffee with you discussing and learning how the whole tragedy have been politicized and used as a means of getting political praises.
    If I will ever find a chance to have coffee with you I would be discussing and learning how cyclone idai has preached to mankind. The message is simple; repent, the time is near.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep thinking of this phrase, about how if your leave your house to go and do charity work, leave your phone behind… One does not help people simply so that they look good doing it, but it does not mean that the effort is no less appreciated…

      They cyclone came like a thief in the night, yet people knew it was coming… the end too is coming, seek salvation while it still can be found.
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sobering indeed Beaton. Here in the US, it’s hard to find a part of the country that did not struggle with this difficult winter. If the storms are without personality, all those impacted people and the numerous heroes are not. And yes, it is always disappointing to see how many politicians completely fail to use their powers to help. Sometimes I think they have lost the ability to understand how most people are forced to live. Somehow, their hearts have been broken (I suspect) and they never really recovered.

    Like

    1. From the first time I heard about her… I just knew her story would have an interesting turn.
      And now I am guessing you are going to have a bunch people trying to be seen to be all extra to also get blessings
      ~B

      Like

  5. Strive Masiyiwa made a pledge that when this is all over he wants to meet the gogo who walked 3km to make her donation and build her a house anywhere in Zimbabwe, solar powered and have running water and a monthly allowance $1000 for life.

    These are the sacrifices that make me want to stand and jump up and down. Such beautiful Grace.

    Many people who leave in villages are poor, but I love the village, villages are earth, villages are fresh. It saddens me to see them destroyed. Words cannot express how I feel about this disaster, but I am very afraid of many things and I pray all the time that these bad things stop happening.

    In our country Kenya, many people do not have food, we have messed big time as humans. Many have failed, but that does not mean we should not try. The elderly lady in the photo, I wish her a long life, she deserves the best.

    Keep on talking to us, we learn a lot from people like you. May God keep us safe, and the ones who suffer, may God keep them strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its strange how those with the least give the most of what they have, maybe its because they understand better, some people are blind to the privilege that they have, and I was reminded of it when I saw some rescue footage of a man refusing to leave his flooded house because he did not want to lose his precious bicycle;
      People were shouting out at him that he would choose to die over a bicycle, what they did not see was that to him bicycle had a value for beyond what they thought, who knows how long it took him to save up for… I understand though that no possessions can ever match the value of human life, but the way they chose to attack him for holding on to something they felt was of no value..
      The things we put a price tag on are different and some do fail to see it which is why those with less seem to end with even less while those with excess seem to get even more.
      Even right now as I write this there’s already problems with the aid distribution as some have seen it as an opportunity to score extra points, influence and buy allegiance, it seems priceless but there’s always a cost.

      You are right though, we should not stop doing the best we can with what we have
      ~B

      Like

  6. I hesitated to press the like button on this, as it is a horrible event. having lived in a disaster area myself I can relate to how wonderful it is to see human kindness in the midst of chaos. I’ll keep all of you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand your hesitation on pressing the like button, I used to battle with such situations on Facebook were people would share their very real pain and loss and would wonder if pressing the like button meant you liked that they were suffering.
      But I think the use of the like button now means a whole lot more and its complicated…
      Thank you for dropping and the prayers, its crazy how the aftermath of a disasteris a lot like reliving it again, as you try to assess and regroup and hearing the tales of the survivors
      You are right there, human kindness is like a balm that eases the chaos
      Thanks and bless
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh! I have loved how you not only shared your heartache, feelings & thoughts but also you shared the link, if you asked me I would say this is also love in action.. The power that blogging has in community.
    And for that am inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s