In times not so long ago, when rain was scarce, “Abavurati”, the rainmakers, were beaten to death, lynched, accused of holding back the rain. Let us not hand the same fate to God.
As the rainfalls dry up, one would never have imagined that we would reach such a moment; where the whole country has to be mobilized to pray to have rain. The governors in particular of Mwaro and Bubanza have officially called on their constituents to get on their knees and ask God for rain. Disaster. Nothing goes.
At the highest level of the State, even the President of the Republic is calling on the population to beg God for rain to fall on Burundi’s lands.
In all the areas of the country, farmers are in disarray. In Gitega, in Kayanza, the farmers speak of a famine in sight. For them, it is a tragedy: fertilisers were delayed more than 10 weeks late compared to the beginning of the agricultural season. And even though the fertilisers has finally reached them, thanks to the efforts of the President of the Republic, whom they warmly welcome (let’s emphasise this in passing), it is arriving in dribs and drabs and not in the quantities ordered.
Today, they have been sowing maize and beans for more than two or three weeks. With fear in their souls, they believe that their seeds will die in the soil, suffocated by the heat, the lack of rainfall for them to grow.
On Twitter, there is no shortage of opinions, some reminding us that we are the country with the second largest water reserve on earth. They speak a different language from that of the public authorities, at least for the moment: let’s irrigate the country, it’s possible. The Government of Burundi under the leadership of President Evariste Ndayishimiye and the very competent new Minister of Infrastructures, Capitaine Dieudonné Dukundane, can explore the feasibility of this project and give it a chance. In their will of transforming Burundi, we trust.
The question today is when will the government support and trust scientific research and put it at the heart of its work? Nothing is more scientifically predictable than rainfall, and the IGEBU has just announced that the first rains will fall on the 24th of this month. So instead of bleeding our knees too much and perhaps blaming the lazy God that no longer hears our prayers, let us trust in science.
In times not so long ago, when rain was scarce, “Abavurati”, the rainmakers, were beaten to death, lynched, accused of holding back the rain. Let us not reserve the same fate for God.