Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Navicha has called upon women and other stakeholders in the country to join hands in the fight against depletion of natural resources, saying it has led to climate change-related problems.
She made the remarks in Lilongwe at Crossroads Hotel during the opening of ‘Third National Partnership Platform’ meeting under the theme: Malawi Gender, Climate Change and Agriculture Support Program (GCCASP), which attracted various players in climate change issues.
“Our natural resources are being affected adversely and climate is not the same as it used to be in the past.
“We have noticed that nowadays people are walking long distances looking for water and firewood.
“Farmers have been planting crops more than once. With the expenses of planting crops more than once, and with the expenses of hybrid maize varieties, most farmers could not afford to access early maturing varieties,” she said.
She added that women and children suffer the most in the climate change phenomenon, hence the need for various organisations to rise up and collectively reverse the situation.
The minister then commended Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC), Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) for ensuring that women’s rights are uplifted in different dimensions through the use of climate-smart agriculture approaches in farming.
Programs Officer for Gender Climate Change and Agriculture Support Project African Union Development Agency GCCASP-NEPAD, Edna Kalima, said her organisation was happy that currently, the project impacts were beginning to be realised.
“Women in Rumphi are planting drought-resilient crops with the use of organic manure while in Machinga they have a green house which they use in growing cucumbers, carrots and other different crops on a pilot phase,” she said.
GCCASP works to empower smallholder women farmers, youth and other vulnerable sections of the targeted communities in decision making, enhancing their productivity, and adaptability to adverse effects of climate.-( By Mphatso Nkuonera)