Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change

Stories and experiences of Climate Change

Caren Malema (Malawi)

Caren Malema lives in Kalonga, in the north of Malawi. She farms kasova, bananas and other vegetables, and also supports her family through catching fish. She is the mother of six, three of which she supports in their schooling.

In March 2007, Kalonga experienced a flood, which was followed by a severe drought. Consequential loss of crops meant that farmers in the region could no longer support themselves, and they sought for alternative means for their subsidence.

People began to cut down trees in order to make charcoal. As a result, the women responsible for collecting firewood could no longer source the fuel in order to cook their food. Women, who lost their harvest due to the climate variability have sought to support themselves through “selling their bodies” to miners working in the region. Consequently the spread of HIV/AIDS has increased, and more children have become orphans.

At the same time the rainfall season has shifted in recent years from November to December to January to March, and temperatures have become hotter. This has increased the mosquito population, and more children have contracted malaria. What we need is the promotion of skills for our women that they do not sell their bodies.

“I am crying for the nation, and for the international [community] for our women.”

(Testimony presented at the Pan-African Hearing on Climate Change 5th October 2009)

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Posted: 12/7/2009 (4:52:27 AM)

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