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Climate Change: Implications and Promising Practices

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Climate Change: Implications and Promising Practices

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Climate Change: Implications and Promising Practices

  1. 1. Climate Change: How Does It Affect Women, Men, Girls and Boys Differently in Malawi? TOPS Research Findings and Preliminary Recommendations Presentation Gillian McKay, Global Behaviour Change Advisor GOAL Global
  2. 2. GOAL Malawi  In Malawi since 2002  Specialists in Long Term Development Programming  Emphasis on Community Resilience through:  Gender Focused Livelihoods & Food Security, DRR Nutrition, Community Health, WASH.  Present in Nsanje, Blantyre, Balaka, Chikwawa, Neno Districts
  3. 3. Climate Change in Malawi  Malawi’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) identifies droughts and floods as the most serious and significant recurring climatic events.  Amount and patterns of rainfall affect crop production which impacts on the market i.e. food prices and supply chain infrastructure (Gregory, 2005).
  4. 4. Gap Identification  Due to these recurring climatic hazards the Malawian Government has put in place disaster risk management structures from the district to village development committee level.  GOAL Malawi supports these efforts through the DISCOVER Consortium, that seeks to increase resilience of the most vulnerable communities to the impacts of climate change.  GOAL Malawi observed a gap between how the Government structures perceive their roles, and how they function within disaster affected areas.  This is particularly true in relation to how they engage in gender awareness, gender sensitivity and gendered approaches to drought and flood response and mitigation measures.  Therefore a research study was proposed and accepted through TOPS to study and address this particular issue.
  5. 5. Climate Change in Malawi in 2015
  6. 6. TOPS Research  OBJECTIVES:  To investigate the impact of gendered vulnerability to climate changes and disasters on the food security of women, men, boys and girls.  Develop guidelines and recommendations based on the research findings for resilience programing specific to food security which will in turn strengthen disaster preparedness, prevention, response and mitigation measures appropriate and relevant for women, girls, boys and men.
  7. 7. Methodology  Desk Review of Literature  FGDs with Women, Men, Boys and Girls  Case Studies of W/M/B/G in Evacuation Camps  Key Informant Interviews with Government personnel, GBV Technical Working Group  Feedback Meetings at National and District levels  Quantitative questionnaire with demographic information and key questions around experience of droughts and floods
  8. 8. Findings – Communication of Impending Events Women Men Radio Weather pattern Extension workers Indigenous Knowledge Family and friends Government Officials NGO public awareness Radio (more significant) Television Observations from Previous Years (inclusive of Indigenous Knowledge) Communications from Government Officials
  9. 9. Universal Findings: Challenges during Droughts  Food is scarce and costly  There is inadequate water  Minimized casual labour opportunities  Malnutrition for all (children and adults)  Money is scarce  Lack of necessities e.g. clothes, soap etc.  Increased insecurity due to a reduction in food and money
  10. 10. Gendered Findings: Challenges during Droughts Women Men • Pregnant women are forced to consume unhealthy diets including food that will make them ill • Marriages break up as husbands leave leaving women alone to raise children • Increased difficulty in reaching Health Centre for ANC/PNC etc given weakness • Increase in prostitution activities to gain money for food • " Many women have become promiscuous and have changed their way of dressing to attract men so that they can have something to eat at the end of the day". • Huge interest is charged on loans that are taken out by fathers. • When moving away in drought times there is a loss of belongings • Fear of moving the family as perception they could become ill
  11. 11. Findings Specific to Children - Droughts  Time for mothers to spend with children is reduc ed during times of droughts as they spend their time looking for food.  Parents may be more likely to send their children to school as they will get fed.  Children might also drop out of school to secure formal employment to help family, especially girl children  Girl child marriage becomes more common  Schoolwork suffers as children feel hungry in class.
  12. 12. More Findings from the Community re. Droughts Preparation Coping Mechanisms Recommended Support They keep firewood to sell during drought periods They plant with the first rains. They cultivate along river banks during th e rainy season and their others that rent f ields. The men use modern farming techniques, but some are not appropriate for women. They keep livestock to sell during the dro ught period. They do businesses to get extra income They buy food in advance at a time that i t’s cheap and they store it for their consu mption during the drought period. They do VSLs to have access to small loan s. They do piece work and they save their in come so that they can use it during the d rought period Casual labour They eat nyika Prostitution They don’t seek health care until the labor starts. The men also prepare for the droughts by planting drought resistant crops, planting early and diversifying their crops. They reduce the number of meals in a day Eating seeds for the following year, which are poisonous Capital for business Food supply Boreholes or wells for water supply Job opportunities Cash transfers Loans Food for work programs Livestock Farm inputs e.g. treadle pumps, drought tolerant seeds, fertilizer etc. Improved infrastructure e.g. roads, stron g homes Drought resistant seeds, new farming technology, new boreholes, food aid programs and small business loans that do not attract huge interests.
  13. 13. Universal Findings: Challenges during Floods  Dangerous canoes that can capsize  General hunger, as it is difficult to find food and to protect it  There are no opportunities for casual labour  Sometimes they have to escape without clothes  Injury/Death during the escape from floods  Loss of Property  Separation of family members  Camps have no separate toilet facilities for W/M/G/B so there are health risks going back to Open Defecation  People with disabilities may not be able to evacuate if they do not have famil y who can support them
  14. 14. Gendered Findings: Challenges during Floods Women Men • Due to reduction in food intake the breastmilk dries up • Health centres not available as roads impassable • Fighting, Prostitution, Greed, Jealousy is common in the camps causing feelings of insecurity • “The Family cohesion becomes less and less because of the lack of food. Men usually desert their families and they go to women that have access to food or that have not been affected by the disasters.” • Concern about wild animals causing injury when fleeing in canoes • Feelings of inadequacy due to inability to feed family
  15. 15. Findings Specific to Children - Floods  Time for mothers to spend with children is reduced during times of floods as they spend their time looking for food.  Children are often sent away to live with relatives in areas away from flooding.  Children may be vulnerable to sexual abuse in return for food in evacuation areas  School fees cannot be paid as all money goes for basic necessities if school even available
  16. 16. More Findings from the Community re. Floods Preparation Coping Mechanisms Recommended Support They keep a canoe nearby They build their houses on a higher platform They move their belongs and livestock to higher land. They store food to eat during the floods They practice winter cropping They plant trees and vetiva They construct dykes They use box ridges (milambala) when culti vating Look for extra work for extra income Prepare canoes in the event of flooding. They drink porridge for supper Sometimes skip meals. Children sent away. Prostitution in the camps Support to build homes in the uplands, only use flood prone areas for cultivation- Rescue boats Hybrid seeds Employment opportunities Food aid and Cash transfers during floods Disabled people should be permanently sup ported to move to the uplands, and should be given Livelihood supports Should be provided with money, food, beddings, treadle pumps, kitchen utensils, soap, clothes, seeds and tents. People should be given loans Schooling opportunities for children Improve safety in the camps People with disabilities should be consulted to see if they can be moved upland permanently
  17. 17. Key Recommendations – Droughts - Stakeholder Meeting  Given women’s increased vulnerabilities in drought- prone areas, increased livelihoods and training opportunities are required  Modern farming techniques that are appropriate for men and women need to be promoted.  Counselling services needed for girls and their families to help keep them in school during times of hardship  Improved market linkages that occur close to home to enable women and men to participate equally
  18. 18. Key Recommendations – Floods - Stakeholder Meeting  Relocation to “uplands” in the same Traditional Authority needs to take into account women’s land rights  Canoes can be held in trust for especially vulnerable people (including female-headed households, people with disabilities and the chronically ill) to allow for evacuation  Gendered training provided to local community boards who make decisions around DRR  Sirens to be used to alert the community as often vulnerable groups do not have radios or mobile phones
  19. 19. Key Recommendations – Evacuation Camps - Stakeholder Meeting  Appropriate toilet facilities for M/W/G/B  NFIs including menstrual hygiene items for W/G  Improve lighting in the camps to reduce SGBV  Food within camps needs to be appropriate for all, including pregnant women  Set up temporary schools in camps to ensure boys and girls do not have to take up work or be vulnerable to exploitation  Free condoms in toilets and other locations
  20. 20. Suggestions?
  21. 21. Many thanks!
  22. 22. Discussion Questions  Many of the suggested mitigation strategies are highly dependent on government and NGO supports (i.e. handouts). How can we work with the community to consider how to use their own strengths to mitigate these events?  Women and Men’s perceptions of Climate Change events like droughts and floods are similar in many ways, but there are key challenges faced by men and women (i.e. men – taking out big loans at high interest, women – resorting to prostitution). How can INGOs engaging in Climate Change programming ensure to identify these key challenges, and programme for them?

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