(EN) 70% of the works in rural Zambia is done by women

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Rural women are the most hit by the effects of climate in Zambia, this is so because 70% of the works in rural Zambia is done by women.

As the farm produce gets poorer and poorer, the men folk migrate to towns in search of jobs leaving women and children to fend for themselves.

In some cases women travel a distance of up to 6 to 8 kilometers to fetch water because their usual and nearby wells have all dried up, and apart from the problem of water, women also travel long distances in search of fire wood for food preparation because their husbands have cut down many trees for charcoal production.

In most rural places of Zambia, women are regarded as a work tool; some men marry up to 5 wives with the hope of producing more food thereby increasing the risk of HIV/AIDS infection.

As the men folk migrate to town in search of jobs, the food security in their homes gets jeopardized. This is so because a woman is left to do more of the domestic chores i.e. look for food to feed the children, fire wood gathering, take children to health centers etc, all this at the expense of food production.

Women knowing that their husbands are the heads of their houses, they keep whatever little money realized from the farm produce for their husbands to make the budget. And in most cases the money realized is spent on beer and or prostitutes thereby affecting household food security.

In recent times some NGO’s have come to the rescue of the rural woman in Zambia by strictly working with women. Many NGO’s are giving women drought resistant crops and early maturing varieties of maize and other cash crops.

Women are also given animals such as goats and pigs and when those animals reproduce, they share with other women in their communities. This is, at least, bringing back the food security in many households.

Women are also encouraged to use energy saving stoves which uses less fire wood but produce more heat to sustain their cooking.

Having realized that women are the ones doing more of the farm work in rural Zambia, NGO’s such as TLC Total Land Care, are working closely with rural women in proving tree species that return the soil fertility.

Women are taught on how to plant, when to plant, where to plant, why they should plant and also on how to take care of the same tree species.

Other NGO’s such as LA Land Alliance are involved in making sure that women own land. It is very common in Zambia that only men have the right to own land, but this NGO is in the forefront convincing traditional leaders that women have the right to own land thereby improving food security in their homes.

The government of the republic of Zambia has welcomed the works of these NGO’s such as Oxfam and many others who are working closely with the rural community in making sure that they have food security in their homes.

Not only is the government in support of NGO’s that promote food security, the government of the republic of Zambia is in the forefront in providing subsidized farm inputs such as fertilizer and seeds to the rural peasant to improve their food security.

The government of Zambia through the departments of agriculture and the department of forestry are in the forefront encouraging the rural community to plant as many trees as they can.

The forestry department encourages rural communities to plant many fruit trees so that those communities get the immediate benefit i.e. fruits to bring income and the much needed vitamins to their bodies while, the department of agriculture is encouraging rural communities to plant trees that bring back the fertility of the soil.

The rural community is slowly adapting and slowly taking up the measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Flamme d’Afrique – Peter Frank Banda

 

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