Statement - 11th June 2012 - AWARE Uganda
The reality of the changing climate and its threat on life and sustainable development of communities and especially grassroots women has become increasingly apparent in Karamoja in recent years.
There have been extreme weather conditions including drought, storms, floods, and wildfires that need the special attention of all people.
Many rural women are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood because it is their source of water, food, energy for cooking, and of all their safety.
We need a bigger dialogue to see how we can make the world safe for us. For now, many women are affected by climate change, especially in remote regions such as in Karamoja.
Recently, in Karamoja, wildfire destroyed over 50 homes and left many people homeless; the women were the ones at home affected, while men had gone to look after their cattle in the neighboring districts for a greener pasture for their cattle.
Also recently, women and children were drowned, trying to cross flooded ground in search of food, and homesteads were swept away by the floods.
Climate change impacts gravely on grassroots women in many ways: food insecurity, malnutrition, sickness, homelessness (due to flooding, wildfire, strong winds etc), maternal and infant mortality (expectant mothers unable to travel to health centres).
There is an urgent need for information and warnings relating to extreme conditions, so communities can be better prepared.