Ipaishe's story, Zimbabwe
Women and Climate Change:
Stories of EMPOWERMENT
Rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic in Zimbabwe - and therefore it's hard for farmers like Ipaishe to predict when to plant. Rainfall in Zimbabwe has declined (by between 7-15%) in the last 100 years.
Passionate and energetic Ipaishe, and other women in her community, are part of an irrigation project, trying to adapt and continue to grow crops despite the decreasing rainfall. They use their experience to campaign for climate change adaptation techniques to ensure farmers in Zimbabwe can grow enough food to feed themselves - whatever the weather.
"The way we survive here in Gutu is by farming," says Ipaishe. "It’s the only livelihood we have. The food we produce makes us healthy and strong, and the surplus food we grow we can sell and in return we get money for school fees and hospital fees."
“We Must Unite and Learn About Climate change"
“Over the last 10 years the climate has changed. If the rains are too little, it affects our way of life. If the rains are more than we need, then it drastically affects our life as well.
We had a time where there was a lot of rain and all of our crops were destroyed and so we couldn’t harvest any food. Another time the rains came as normal but went very early, and the crops wilted and died due to the heat.
If we look into the skies and see that there isn’t going to be much rain we will be frightened because of the fear that we’ll be forced to ration our food. By rationing to those levels it affects the health of our children.
Looking at the problem we currently face, we all have a responsibility. It starts from us as farmers – we should stop cutting down and burning trees. Then we will be able to share our concerns with the people in charge so they can begin to solve the problems. But we are the ones who should highlight the issues.
My message to those who haven’t seen the climate changes, I say to them come out and unite with others and learn more about it and then they will come to understand."
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