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AGNES WANGUI IRUNGU

KENYA

'My name is Agnes Irungu from Kenya. I would like to write my story in regards to gender and climate change. Growing up in Kenya's rural highlands has given me a chance to closely observe the climate change that has gradually come into place. Human population in general is involved in the use and management of natural resources. When a particular group of the population does not have adequate resources, it puts them at a disadvantage. For example, in rural Kenya, women are involved in agricultural activities but mostly do not have the rights to own land, hence they cannot make the maximum out of it. In relation to climate change, when natural disaster occurs mostly resources and livelihoods of women are affected,  certainly making their lives more complicated.

Gender and climate change is an important aspect to look at. Climate change affects men and women differently. Women have to put food on the table, search for firewood, and maybe walk long distances fetching water. This really limits their time to be engaged in more productive and income generating activities. Women however are not just victims of climate change but solutions to it. For example, in rural Kenya, women have embraced kitchen gardens which require less resources in terms of land, time, manure and fertilizers, yet help to curb the pangs of drought and hunger. The government has also intervened by making sure that resources such as water are well distributed to most rural areas of Kenya, so that women do not have to walk long distances and can also irrigate their fields to improve their livelihoods.'