Monday, January 26, 2015

Climate change influences the quality of life for Kenyan women

Dr, Fibian Lukalo in via the Star (Kenya):
...According to the United Nations Population Fund, women in sub-Saharan Africa walk an average of 6km each day to collect water. Many times this water is not even safe for drinking and places a heavy burden on these women. Water weighs 3.6kg per gallon [A litre of water weighs 1kg, hence a 5litre container means 5kg].

Women risk a lot, physically, emotionally and mentally to carry back to their families (on their backs) life itself! The situation is dire for pregnant women who risk premature births, prolapsed uterus, back injuries and lower reproductive tract infections.

This female connection to water goes way beyond the symbolism found in history, religion, cultural practices and norms, literature and legend. Some examples include the foundation of Timbuktu (Mali), Mami Wata (West Africa), and the legend of the Red Bull (South Africa). Women are affected to a much greater degree by climate change and the socioeconomic and environmental disasters it brings.

Here in Kenya, the vicious nature of water seeking to follow its course will be witnessed by the flooding to occur in Budalangi, Nyando, Kano plains, Athi plains, Ewaso Nyiro basin and parts of all major cities. In regard to saving the lives of women in the 47 counties, can we as a nation have a county water meter?

...For all the mothers living in flood plains, this rainy season you will be experience a decline in supplies of quality water sources and food [grown on land]. Other declines will include low supplies of dry firewood, an increase in poverty, low nutritional levels, poor sanitation, susceptibility to physical injuries, increase in water-based vector diseases, cholera, malaria infections, lowering educational standards, scarcity in food supply, employment and income opportunities....

Children carrying a jerry can of water in Wajir, Kenya, photo by Oxfam East Africa Oxfam East Africa, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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