Lightning struck a fowl run and killed 1000 market ready broilers belonging to Ms Sidumisile Mathe of Mahaja village in Ntabazinduna last Tuesday.
Ms Mathe spoke to The Sunday News and said the lightning bolt that killed her 1 000 chickens on Tuesday 24 November at around 4 pm could have also claimed her life and that of her employee.
It all happened on Tuesday around 4 pm, it began to rain heavily and I was with one of my helpers trying to secure the fowl run. We then left for the main house and that is when a bolt of lightning struck the fowl run, it was like a huge ball of fire. It was scary.
I immediately rushed back to the fowl run screaming for help, neighbours came through as they initially thought that maybe the lightning had struck while we were inside the fowl run because we would spend most of our time in the fowl run, she said.
As if that was not enough, the lightning bolt also caused damages worth US$3 500 to chicken feeding equipment and 70 bags of stock feed.
I invested US$2 500 for the construction of the fowl run and to date had used about US$1 000 for the feed, as I had purchased 70 bags of chicken feed. What pains me is that I lost these chickens when I had already got a market for them, actually, they were now three days from reaching the required six weeks maturity, I was supposed to be delivering them on (last) Friday, she said.
Alexander Mkandla who is the councillor of that area commiserated with Ms Mathe saying that the way she lost her chickens was very painful.
Most people were looking up to her, as she was very passionate about this project. For her sweat to be rewarded like this is very painful, to say the least. While we really appreciate the rains, our community was hard hit by their violent nature, I was made aware of another family that lost 150 chickens but theirs was because their fowl run was destroyed by the heavy rain which resulted in the roof collapsing on the chickens, said Clr Mkandla.
The incident occurred on the back of warnings of more violent storms in the Matabeleland region starting tomorrow by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD).