The Midweek Sun
Nation warned of more hail storms this week
Livestock killed in the hailstorm as residents blame Kgwanyape
Apowerful hailstorm left almost every household in Thamaga with broken house windows in what Botswana Metrological Services calls a special local case.
Vehicles were also not spared as they were left without wind screens, or suffered cracks. When The Midweek Sun team arrived in Thamaga queues formed at the police station as people had come to report and make affidavits about their damaged cars, houses and livestock killed by the storm.
For Ompatile Dikgang, of Kgosing ward, this was the first incident she has ever seen in her entire life. They were traumatised as they heard window glasses shattering. “I am 52-years-old but have never seen such in my life before. In the household we have two babies aged one month each, and I was really scared for their lives as the massive thundering lasted for about an hour while we also heard glasses breaking, but I am thankful to God that we were not harmed,” she said.
Her neighbour, Otlhapile Dikole also shared the same sentiments. The windows of her main house and her car wind screen were broken or cracked while her thatched hut collapsed. The devastated
Dikole reported the incident to the police and District Commissioner but could not get any help.
“I was told that for now I could not be assisted with anything. They asked if my food was affected by the rain too, and explained that they only help those whose food has been damaged by the rain,” she cried.
She said the hail storm has brought sudden poverty into her homestead. “Now I have a house and a car to maintain after this natural disaster,” she said.The rear windscreen of Tshenolo Sekeleme’s family car was entirely blown out by the hail storm. Moreover, their chicken business they run is in ruin following the devastating effects of the hailstorm. “The hailstorm was accompanied by a lengthy power cut and this affected our business as we had slaughtered 81 chickens on Saturday and today (Monday) most of the chickens have gone bad without refrigeration.
“I have already started cooking them for dogs,” Sekeleme said, adding that they had a single order of 50 chickens and with the rotting of the 81, business had gone down the drain for the family.
Compounding the problem, she said, is that hardware stores are already short of glassware and window panes, and they could not get any to replace their broken house windows.
“I did not even go to work today, because I work in Gaborone. I had to immediately ask for Compassionate Leave and I am grateful that my employer agreed. “However, as there are no window panes around, we are forced to buy in Gaborone and some people don’t even have transport money to go and buy the glassware, it is just an unfortunate incident we are faced with here in Thamaga,” said Sekeleme.
Tumelo Motlhanka, popularly known as Mapetla, also had his tuck-shop collapse in the hailstorm. He sells freshly cooked foodstuffs and also has a Pool Table by the convenience shop, which also broke down under the heavy weather.
Some people, in the village found their goats dead in the morning. Villagers spoke of seeing truckloads of dead goats and decried that the hailstorm left many families empty handed. To some, the unusual hailstorm was the works of a dragon that passed through their village. Dikgang added that each time there has been a hail storm in Thamaga, it has been associated with a snake moving from one side of the village to the other. “Some people have indicated that they have seen it going to the caves,” she said Thamaga Police station, Assistant Superintendent
Busang Malope said the heavy hailstorm came unexpectedly and has destroyed a lot of property in the village. “No homestead was spared and our offices here also don’t have window panes because of the hail storm,” he said. During the interview, he said over 120 cars were reported for damage claims and insurance.“We also received reports of insured houses and issued a lot of affidavits for people to travel to Gaborone to fix their cars,” he said. Isiah Kazapua of Botswana Metrological Services has described what happened in Thamaga as a special case. He said most times when a hailstorm happens it is because of a lot of heat. “We recently experienced highest temperatures of 36 and 38 degrees Celsius across the country and this is a leading factor for a hailstorm because the heat ends up converting into kinetic energy that ascends to form clouds,” he said. He said what happened in Thamaga is a special case because it was only a local effect. “Normally, when this happens, it affects the whole region, but it only affected one village,” he said noting that they have not compiled the case study yet, to find out what could have transpired. He however maintained that too much heat results in super cold droplets that could cause rainfall and hailstorm.