, NJORO, Kenya, Apr 19 – Women in the developing world will bear the brunt of climate change, the Environment Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr Alice Kaudia has said.
Speaking at Egerton University when she opened a one-week workshop, the secretary noted that women will walk longer distances in search of firewood and water.
Dr Kaudia said gender differentiated responsibilities and roles in the production and reproduction spheres showed that women stood to suffer in most situations where water, energy and food were scarce.
She observed that food scarcity meant many labour-hours spent in search of a meal, a burden left to women in most cases.
She added that scarcity of food would translate to people eating less than their daily requirement, a situation that could aggravate malnutrition and health especially among women and children.
She said addressing global warming required preparedness and not reactions to events that have taken place.
She cited the frequent floods and prolonged droughts in Kenya and the on-going volcanic eruption in Iceland as some of the cases that are handled through emergency.
Dr Kaudia said the world should adhere to limits of change set by scientists where global temperature should not go up by more than two degrees Celsius.
According to the Environment Secretary, the climate change response strategy in the country had been prepared by her ministry in consultations with more that 17 other ministries and stakeholders including faith-based organisations, the private sector, youth and women groups and the media.
She added that the strategy detailed actions that should be taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The director of Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre, Ms Jane Nyakang’o said the workshop was aimed at education women professionals on energy saving techniques, environmental conservation and sustainable water use.
She noted that women were change agents who would be vital in educating the masses from the grassroots.
Ms Nyakang’o said women also depended on natural resources to feed their families and thus the need to learn more about the environment.