The Cameroonian woman at the threshold of global warming: Upshots.
Jan 21, 2015
Cameroonian women swear by primary activities in general and agriculture in particular. Over the past few years, temperatures have increased remarkably and semi arid regions are rapidly turning to arid regions. Streams have dried up and rainfall and sunshine are irregular.
In my home town Mankon, a located in the North West province, women do a lot of commercial and subsistence farming. Of late their farm work and harvest has greatly been influenced by changing climatic conditions. Two years ago, heavy rains caused rivers to overflow their banks. Women had already planted crops and weeded. About a month to harvest time, the waters swept every thing away. Households were starved and life was rendered difficult.
The following year, so much sunshine and little rain brought about poor harvest. Food barns were half empty and the people came close to needing food aid.
This is the month of April and food crops like maize, groundnuts, beans, cocoyam to name but these have already sprung up young plants. Uncertainty however looms as nobody knows what the fast changing seasons will bring this year. Last week, the centre region of Cameroon recorded a storm that blew off the roofs of over a hundred houses in under twenty minutes. In Buea, in the South West region, some families were rendered homeless after heavy rains destroyed homes and property worth millions. Temperatures have risen and the intensity of the sun has increased.
About 65% of households in Cameroon get their daily bread from agriculture. At the center of subsistence agriculture in Cameroon and most less developed countries are the women. Fast changing climatic conditions lead to an estimated annual fall in their output which can be translated to a fall in their welfare. It is however certain that there will be increased spending on food and poor health due to poor feeding.