The effects of climate change in rural communities of Zambia have had a devastating effect which motivated women farmers from Mumbela spend six days travelling by bus on The Caravan of Hope to attend COP17 in Durban, South Africa. They are bringing a call to reduce green house gas emissions which pollute the air and harm the climate.
Ramatamo wa matamong (Alex Pioneer in Alexandra, South Africa) and Josef Bushby (Windlands Echo, Paarl) spoke to one of them, 57-year-old farmer Grace Tepula who is the secretary of Chinchi Women Farmers organisation and a mother of five children and five grandchildren.
Q: Why are you here in Durban?
A: I’m here in Durban to add my voice and the voices of the fellow women I’m representing from Mumbela, Zambia, where I come from. We are here to be assisted and to add the African voice on the effects of climate change we are experiencing.
Q: Do you have any hope out of this?
A: Our hope and the expectation is that our voice will be heard by the powers that be and that the polluters – industrialised countries – stop the emissions that destroy the earth.
Q: Is this hope practical? Do you see it ever being achieved out of COP17?
A: This remains our hope. The climate change affects us all, both rich and poor nations.
Q: What particular problem of climate change can you say has affected your community so far?
A: Our country, Zambia, has experienced floods and droughts. The time we are expecting the rain, it comes late and when it comes, it goes away early. Our seasons… when it is hot, is hotter than previous years, when is cold, it is colder than in previous years.
Q: What is the impact of this?
A: We have lost lots of animals. We can’t plough on the soil. The food harvest is affected. If you have put your fertilizers or your seed out, the rain comes too much or too little and at the end of the day this is all wasted. Only God knows when our voices will be heard. AMEN!!!!!!