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Sustainability in Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai

July 21, 2020

The tropical storm last year devastated the area around the Chimanimani National Park in Zimbabwe. Now locals are rebuilding their lives through sustainable farming practices and eco-tourism.

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Image: DW

Zimbabwe: Rebuilding after the cyclone

Last year Cyclone Idai heavily impacted the area around the Chimanimani National Park in Zimbabwe: Houses were torn away by mudslides, and bridges and farmland were destroyed. More than 300 people died.

Since the disaster locals have worked to rebuild their lives. They are trying to redesign their environment in a way that allows them to earn a sustainable living while also preparing for future natural disasters. 

The Chimanimani region is a hotspot of biodiversity in East Africa. More than 2,000 different plants thrive in the national park there as well as rare bird species important for future global conservation. 

The non-governmental organization Bird Life Zimbabwe works with local partners to minimize the damage caused by climate change and to encourage sustainable practices. They are currently building a completely new type of housing for bees, growing local plant species in nurseries and changing their approach to farming. Some locals have decided to train as tourist guides, hoping to make an income while encouraging a responsible engagement with the environment. 

A film by Tawanda Mupatsi and Tabea Mergenthaler