RWA Zimbabwe Solidarity Visit to Mozambique

Due to the increase in climate-related disasters in Africa, it is clear that more needs to be done to strengthen preparedness to climatic hazards so that communities can better cope.  Every year many communities are affected by climate change -induced disasters particularly cyclones and it is the women and girls who bear the brunt most. This year some countries in Southern Africa were hit by Cyclone Freddy which was recorded as one of the longest and the strongest.  Mozambique was one of the hardest hit and it was recorded that over 132,000 homes were destroyed, leaving more than 640,000 people homeless and over 1,017 schools and over 5,000 kilometres of road destroyed.

In this regard RWA Zimbabwe with the support from RWA Southern Africa conducted a visit to Mozambique to meet RWA sisters who were affected by Cyclone Freddy in Boane and Zambezia areas.  8 RWA women from Zimbabwe went for the trip by road. The objective of the visit was to be in solidarity with fellow sisters and hand over some donations (money, clothes and seeds) on behalf of RWA Southern Africa. The sisters who went for the visit noted that cyclone Freddy left the most communities devastated. People lost their homes, crops, (they were washed away), their livestock, seeds and some of their arable land was left degraded.  This affected many households as they depend much on subsistence farming as their source of livelihood.

On behalf of the region, RWA Zimbabwe handed over clothes and seeds to sisters in Boanne. The seeds brought included traditional varieties of grains, vegetables, oils seeds, legumes, and squashes. Traditional seeds are very important as they easily adapt to local changes in climate, and they can be passed on to generations. The sisters in Mozambique appreciated receiving the seeds, as seeds mean life to a rural woman.  The local leaders who were present also took some of the seeds to further distribute to other affected areas.  However, the team did not manage to go to the other area (Zambezia) as it was far, instead they handed over money to Flaida (Mozambique RWA leader) to send to the area so that they will buy some food and utensils to use, since they lost almost everything.

Although the Zimbabwean sisters travelled by road to Mozambique and took days to arrive, they noted that the solidarity visit was worthwhile as the sisters in Mozambique felt the oneness and the togetherness within Rural Women’s Assembly. They were happy to receive a variety of traditional seeds since they had lost all that they had. However the sisters in Mozambique still need a lot of support for them to fully recover from  the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy.

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