Climate change hits [women] banana farmers

Clayton Masekesa – The Zimbabwean – Monday October 13, 2014 (originally published 8 Oct)

Woman banana farmer
Woman banana farmer in Zimbabwe, Josephine Tonganai says changes in the local climate is hurting her crops. Image: The Zimbabwean

A swiftly shifting landscape in rural Honde Valley has changed the lives of many women – especially those who are small-scale banana farmers and who depend, almost exclusively, on rainfall for their water supply.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean last week, William Mabuto from the Meteorological Department said water ecosystems in Honde Valley had shifted and changes in local river systems and waterholes had become a deciding factor, forcing many women farmers to move away from their home areas.

“Women have multi-dimensional roles as mothers and providers and are often heads of households. This naturally means that they are also most often the managers of on-the-ground natural resources,” he said.

“This is especially true for women farmers because they rely on nature. At the end of the day they end up holding the key to food security. But climate change has made the risky business of farming all the more difficult for them. More frequent crop failures mean women have to work harder and their families have less to eat,” Mabuto added.

“Climate change in areas such as Honde Valley threatens to keep poor people and women in particular locked in a vicious cycle of poverty.”. .

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