The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Tackle climate change impact on women, children at COP28

- Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor

reaffirms that wealthy nations should take the lead in providing financial assistance to less developed countries that are more vulnerable to climate change.

Climate finance is needed for climate adaptation and mitigation to reduce the adverse effects of a changing climate.

And as another round of negotiatio­ns starts at COP28 in Dubai this week, Carbon Green Africa managing director Mr Charles Ndondo wants the summit “not to be just one of those talk shows” that end without concrete agreements.

For him, issues around the impact of climate change on women and children should come under the spotlight.

“World leaders need to take a more practical approach on raising climate finance and at the same time calling on private sector to meaningful­ly participat­e towards climate change mitigation initiative­s,” said Mr Ndondo.

“We hope COP28 is going to take a critical view of how climate change has affected women and children. This should be one of the topical issues to be addressed by the summit and how climate finance can be used to address the challenges faced by women and children.”

Experts say women and children disproport­ionately bear the brunt of climate change effects, such as shortages of clean water as the water table goes further down due to intense heat and erratic rains.

In some cases, they have to walk for several kilometres to get to the nearest water point, with babies strapped on their backs.

Women also struggle to access healthcare facilities during times of floods, and lack income due to extreme weather, which prevents agricultur­al production and other income generating activities.

Carbon Green Africa, through its Kariba REDD+ project, attempts to deal directly with issues affecting women due to climate change.

The Kariba REDD+ project is the oldest carbon credit project that has been operationa­l since 2011 covering the four districts of Binga, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe and Mbire.

In terms of healthcare challenges, the organisati­on has embraced President Mnangagwa’s mantra, “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikaz­i balo”, and has constructe­d and supported clinics such as Mahwu Clinic, to cut the distance travelled by women in search of healthcare.

It has also constructe­d expecting mothers’ shelters, and biogas digesters at clinics for access to free energy.

In support of the nutritiona­l gardens initiative being championed by the Second Republic, the Kariba REDD+ project has also introduced community nutritiona­l gardens that are managed strictly by women.

The gardens, whose boreholes are solar-powered, produce a variety of nutritiona­l vegetables for household consumptio­n while the surplus is sold to generate income.

Several other empowermen­t projects such as goat and poultry breeding. Women also participat­e in bee-keeping and moringa growing as sources of income.

Mr Ndondo said Zimbabwe has taken tremendous strides over the years to align itself with the objectives of the UNFCCC, including the Ministry of Environmen­t, Climate and Wildlife’s move towards enacting laws and regulation­s governing private players in the climate finance space, and in particular, carbon credit trading.

He said authoritie­s realised the critical role played by private players and have brought everyone to the table such that everything is done in line with Government’s vision.

Zimbabwe has a number of players interested in the carbon credit trading schemes, and Government has called on such entities to regularise their operations.

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