Have you heard the phrase “good weather friends”? It means Meteorological Department and Meteorological Department means good weather friends. They appeared from nowhere and, like cold water to a thirsty traveller, they breathed something fresh into the agonizingly stale and repeatedly repeated Rwanda TV programmes.
They had a presenter who talked to the viewers unlike Rwanda TV announcements which impinge on the rights to information of those who are visually impaired and were creative in what they showed us.
The Chairman of our village could not hide his excitement and wanted all villagers to know how much Rwanda had developed.
He proudly announced that the “technicians” doing it were “KIST” Graduates. According to him they were parched up somewhere between the heavens and the sky so they captured every bit of the changes in the sky; that is why we could see the clouds moving under their cameras.
He informed his captivated listeners and the whole village community that those technicians could touch and feel the surface of the sky and could use their advanced gadgets to feel and determine when the skies could brew and pour rainwater and even determine and control thunder.
Boy, whatever magic those people applied must be from China, not from Africans, we concluded.
The “heavens swimmer” METEO-SAT in which those “KIST” graduates swam the heavens was manufactured by the graduates themselves, the Chairman informed his residents to their awe.
He said if anyone was in doubt he was prepared to bring his TV monitor to the village meeting so we could see the clouds moving from other countries hovering over our country pregnant with rainwater before it rained in our village.
We all marvelled at what our sons and daughters had achieved: moreover barely out of their teens. How those young men and women read the skies was impossible for us to comprehend.
They showed us, the Chairman said, the whole world on the TV screen. Everyone agreed that our institutions of “final” education and learning had reached the top in the search for knowledge and someone expressed concern if more knowledge, if acquired, would not negatively impact the mental state of the said graduates.
Whether the people behind what we saw on the weather forecast programmes courtesy of the meteorology Department were KIST graduates, I will never know but once in a while they missed their step here and there.
It might be that they got sleepy living as they did in the “heavens swimmer” in the impossibly inhabitable heavenly places meant for gods and not mortal sons of men.
We would be told “tomorrow” the sky would be cloudy with thunderstorms and that it would rain in the morning and the temperatures would be “dogoro 24 salusisis”, so Datiliva and I would put on raincoats and carry our umbrellas under our armpits and head for work sure to shame those who ignore information particularly that provided by Rwanda TV.
Then the sun would shine like the skin that had always covered it had been removed and people on the street would look at me as if I was from another planet.
Then the Meteorological Department would say the day would be sunny with no clouds expected so I put on a cotton shirt and snickers so that I could enjoy the beauty of living in the tropics.
Immediately I reached town it would rain as if the heavens had lost their bottoms so I would spend the day shivering thanks to whoever had gone asleep in the heavens swimmer Meteo-sat.
Then came the traditionally known dry season when people start preparing for the next rainy and planting season and the Meteorology Department are nowhere to be seen. Not that we want them to tell us when to plant but when water will gather in ELECTROGAZ’s water containers so that we can have enough to bathe.
When a family shares a 20Lt jerry-can of water someone is bound to have less than enough. We have been lining up to get water at those who somehow have enough to use and sell at inflated prices but we cannot get enough to go round so some of us alternate days when washing and the people in the heavens swimmer are nowhere to feel the skies and tell us when it might rain.
Were those people guessing when they said the next day would be cloudy with a few thunderstorms here and there? Why can’t they help us tell when ELECTROGAZ will pump water?
It would be understandable if they apologized like Rwanda TV that they cannot present the programme but they should appear.
They can tell us when the rains will come else we intend to shift and go to places we can get water and come back when the rains come back.
It is unfair to find people watering their lawns with water hoses when we sons and daughters of Africans cannot get water to bathe with. Is ELECTROGAZ also becoming a good weather friend?