Marije Cornelissen verzamelde als vrouwenvertegenwoordiger verhalen over Vrouwen en Klimaat voor haar statement bij de Algemene vergadering van de Verenigde Naties in New York. Dit verhaal gaat over Sushila Khari, een boerin in Nepal en klimaatverandering. De verhalen komen via Women for Water Partnership en WPLUS.
Climate change adaptation in Nepal
Sushila Khari has been a farmer in Panchkhal, Nepal for over 45 years. The climate has changed dramatically in the last decade affecting food security. Due to the unpredictable and extreme weather conditions seasonal crops are often ruined, pasturelands destroyed, grass production low and livestock business hard to sustain. New diseases came up, whilst water sources are continuously depleted, especially during winter. This affects especially women. For one, being a woman it means I am responsible at home for fetching water. If sources are dried out, I have a longer way to go to retrieve water, adding to my workload and safety.
“We had to adopt new cropping patterns in order to cope with these changing scenarios.“ Farmers get their knowledge and adaptation strategies through district level agriculture offices and their extension services. Indigenous knowledge is used also, however, it is mainly the women in rural areas who rely on this knowledge, since only men have access to information from village offices, attend district level training and meetings. Male farmers are therefore more dominant in variety selection and land using patterns. Organizations like WPLUS disseminate information in local communities and especially women aware on efficient water use and management.
“Instead of cultivating high water consuming crops, like wheat, we now go for short duration vegetable production, the chances of a non-destroyed yield are much higher this way. Surface water sources are continuously depleted so we started extracting ground water sources as alternative. However, this is much more expensive. This made us aware of the importance of water once again. We are now managing water better and use it more efficiently. For instance, we started collecting kitchen wastewater, which we now use for gardening. Also we started keeping small stocks like goats. We are adapting agriculture technologies, like drip irrigation, which efficiently uses the limited available water. People in the area have initiated collecting wastewater in digs. Still, we are in desperate search and exploring alternative ways to adapt to the effects of climate change.”