Association Agricola Muda Macequesse is lucky. In 2016 they received a very large irrigation pump from a government and NGO-funded project. The provincial governor attended an innuguaration ceremony.
And it is an impressive machine with three electric engines and a massive capacity to pump water from the Muda River.
But then again, they are not so lucky. In March 2019 Cyclone Idai hit. A damn on the Muda River burst causing massive flooding downriver across the Association’s land. The Association’s recently plowed 47-hectare field washed out, preventing them from planting the crop which would now be ready to harvest. High-water marks, still visible, reach above the doorways. Most people I’ve met say they survived by spending several days on top of a roof or in a tree. Many people across the river lost their lives. I was told the remains of a house appear in the photo below.
Nearby on the national highway many dies while trying to cross the Haluma River on an old bridge built prior to independence from the Portuguese. It collapsed. We pass the construction site every day.
Or perhaps they are lucky. The Association’s land is a bit higher than the land on the other side saving them all from the fate of those nearby. The pump station’s mooring cables prevented the platform from being swept down river only shifting out of position to rest along the bank.
But then again, maybe they aren’t so lucky. The electricity station is not functioning and now sits at the edge of a steep embankment. The government has said they would like to move it but no one has said when, and if in the meantime it will be repaired. Their electric irrigation pump engines are likely damaged, sitting unused four months after the storm. I picked my way down the embankment to photograph the pump make and model. If it is true that the sugar processing company is going out of business they may choose not to repair this sophisticated system and instead purchase something cheaper and easier to maintain and repair. My job is to provide the information needed to make these decisions.
For now, post seminar smiling faces lean towards lucky.