Women Farmers in Kabarole are being affected by the effects of climate change. They have lost income because their gardens have been washed away by floods. Some of the women have even abandoned farming and are engaging in other enterprises like poultry and piggery.
Several of the farmers, especially women, have lost food crops which have been washed away by floods and crops fields have become dry, leaving them lacking food for consumption and sale, which has affected their income.
Faith Kabagahi, a farmer in Kakonga Parish Rwimi Sub County, says she acquired a loan of five million shillings to engage in maize production, but she made loses when her three acre garden was washed away by heavy rains. She says that since she depended on agriculture as a source of income, Kabagahi didn’t have what to sell and also lacked food for consumption.
Kabagahi says that she was forced to walk longer distances to find food for the family, thus foregoing some of her responsibilities.
Kabagahi says that she is disappointed that the district agricultural department has not sensitised the farmers on how they can avoid the effects of climate change or adapt to it. She says that farmers should be told what crops to plant during a particular season.
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Beatrice Katusabe, another farmer in Kakonga Parish says that all her maize fields dried up and she decided to abandon farming because of the unpredictable weather. She is now engaged in other enterprises like poultry and piggery, where she earns an income to look after her family.
Margaret Balinda, the chairperson Rwimi Women Farmers Association says that women farmers have tried to adapt to climate change, but have failed because they lack resources.
Balinda says that the association is planning to purchase locally made irrigation equipments for crop fields, but they lack funds.
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Tracy Kajumba, the coordinator of the Rwenzori Think Tank on Climate Change says that despite being the most affected, women lack information on climate change because they are not involved when plans to combat climate change are being drawn.
Kajumba says that the Think Tank on climate change has started sensitizing women farmers about climate change risks and adaptation strategies. She says that farmers are being encouraged not to engage in food production only, but also engage in other enterprises like poultry and piggery.
Kajumba also says that they are requesting the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and district production department to supply drought resistant crops to the farmers.
She also says that some of the women farmers are also being taught local methods of adapting to climate change, like building barriers around their gardens to avoid floods and planting early mature crops.
According to the 2009 United Nations Population report, women are the most affected by the effects of climate change, and their plight has largely been overlooked especially in developing countries.