By Nokulunga Masuku
Walking to Mozambique is now an effortless task for women in Chipinge despite the appalling distance of between 30 and 40 kilometres from the remote area of Madhuku to the neighbouring country.
Unreliable rainfalls besieging Chipinge have left scores of people faced with starvation, living women with no choice but to walk to Mozambique in a bid to try and make ends meet, it has been revealed.
Linnah Marowa a married woman of 41, is among those who have made walking to Chipinge a daily routine.
“I walk to Mozambique to hoard mangoes which go for $2 a bucket and sell them at Checheche Growth Point. The profits are not much. I get $5 or more if the sells are good and with that, I can manage to buy a bucket of maize for my family which goes for $8,” she said.
“Instead of wasting the hard earned and scanty cash on transport, people feel that they can instead walk to Mozambique and use the money to acquire food for the children,” said Alice Madhuku.
Apart from walking to hoard mangoes in Mozambique, people also go there to plough as they have fields in the neighbouring country.
“When we are experiencing low rains in our country we supplement by ploughing in Mozambique because the rains here and there are hardly the same. When we have a drought in our area, in Mozambique there will be enough rains and vice versa, save for this year where we are having almost the same amount,” said one man from Madhuku area who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It is reportedly on such terrible times that some inhabitants set for the neighbouring country as early as 3am.
The government and Humanitarian Organisations are known for chipping in to assist drought stricken areas and Chipinge residents have for years survived the famine from such assistance.
Christian Care is one such organisation that has helped the people of Chipinge although it has scaled down operations.
The nature of the roads in the area has led transport operators to withdraw their services and as a result, helpless residents have been exposed to exorbitant prices charged by owners of private cars.
From Checheche to Chinyamukwakwa a distance of 20km is charged for $8, from Chinyamukwakwa to Mapeye/Gawara it is $5 for a distance of 8km and from the former to the border, it is $5 again.
Reaching Mozambique on foot has come as a means of survival for many as transport charges are beyond their reach. Economic hardships have also worsened the situation as most men in the area are unemployed thus making life even more difficult.