Climate Change impacts on agriculture and livelihood in KIREHE District
Agriculture in KIREHE District is strongly dependent on the seasonal climatic changes. The main hazard which affects agriculture is long lasting drought followed by heavy rain mixed with strong wind and hail. During drought period the majority of crops are damaged by the sun which dries up the soil, livestock starts to die because of lack of grass while during the rainy season this district faces heavy rain which causes landslides and erosions, as well as strong hail which harms different crops especially banana and cassava plants. All these changes affect at high level the farmers’ livelihood (low income & poverty, food insecurity, intra and interfamilial conflicts, family segmentation, school leaving for children, unintended & teen pregnancies etc.)
The level of adaptation and mitigation in KIREHE District households is still weak because of lack of collaboration between women and men in decision making and planning to cope with this challenge in particular and for the development of the family in general. The lack of collaboration is many ways a result of conflicts between men and women based on absence of common understanding on natural resource management in households. Socially constructed gender roles and relations influence women’s and men’s access to assets and the benefits obtained from assets. Gender based inequalities often result in women’s and girls’ limited access to assets, which generates implications of natural resource management conservation. Thus, common understanding on Natural Resources Management in Household is of paramount important to prevent gender violence in a household and to achieve household development (Burton et al. 2003). Gender norms also constrain women’s ability to travel and access information. As a result, many women are less likely to have access to knowledge about climate change impacts and resilient livelihood options.
SAFE’s contribution to build the common understanding on natural resources management and climate change resilience in households
Under RWEE ASAP 2 project fund implemented by many international organization as UN WOMEN, PAM, FAO and IFAD, SAFE is using Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in KIREHE District to build common understanding of natural resources management at both the community and household level under IFAD fund. To increase gender equality and women’s voice, SAFE formed community groups that were women-centered, and provided to them training in gender equality by using the following GALS Methodology Tools (The road vision journey, the gender balance tree, the social empowerment map, the multilane highway, Challenge action tree, and diamond dream).
Among those tools, the gender balance tree is a tool which helped SAFE to explain for women and men the importance of gender equality to community resilience, and to encourage men and women to participate equally. SAFE’s trainings support women and young people to play a central role in the community-led groups, which transform a household and community members to learn about and practice risk reduction techniques
According to different testimonies from beneficiaries of the project, couples thank GALS because it helped them to change their lives. Wives and husbands in conflicts started to collaborate, and take decisions together in all projects they plan for their households.
"Woman is no longer work alone in agriculture field, and now our agriculture production is increased; the money from production is used to renew and extend our house, we are living in harmony and not fighting”
Women and men agreed to practice together on measures of climate change issues in order to increase production: respecting agriculture season, fields with anti-erosive technics, using good quality and quantity of manure, plant good seeds well selected, cultivate at time as well as planting drought tolerant crops.