Therese Marwel from Harare, Zimbabwe, says climate change is making it difficult for women in rural areas. Khanyisa Sinqe, from Zithethele Community Newspaper in Port Elizabeth spoke to her.
Q. Why are you attending COP17?
A. The reason why I am here is because I am a farmer and climate change and global warming is affecting us very badly. Even as we plant food, we no longer producing as much because of air pollution, and our cattle are dying because the grass is no longer green.
Q. What do you hope to achieve from being here?
A. We, as woman from from all over the world, hope that our voice could be heard. We are not saying that the industries and firms must shut down. All we are asking is they must be environmentally friendly.
Q. Personally, what problems have you encountered in regard to climate change?
A. Tjo! Me, I have 12 children and each and every day I have to walk five kilometers to fetch 40 litres of water because the rivers nearby are dry. I have to save that water so that the entire family will bath all in one and the same water and we will then use that to water our food gardens. It is hectic.
Q. How has climate change change your life?
A. You know what… it changed my life a lot. Starting from my children refusing to go to school because they are hungry, our husbands are angry because they are hungry … the crime rate is very high… people steal our cattle and some young girl childs prostitute themselves because they are hungry.
Q. How does climate change affect where you live?
A. Because I live in rural Zimbabwe, we all depending on planting food. It is hard for us. We also have a high rate of diseases in our villages because man leave their wives and people are dying with hunger and other diseases.