It was one of the worst tropical cyclones hit Southern Africa in recent times. Cyclone Idai, which has been characterised by heavy rains and flooding including mudslides in some parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, has left more than 750 dead, with thousands marooned in remote rural areas, whilst others are still unaccounted for. More than 1,5 million people are affected by the cyclone in the region.
Tapiwa Moyo, 40, religiously leaves her home each day when the first cock crows and joins a throng of women who have taken up artisanal mining in her community.
In Zimbabwe, the bulk of rural communities and urban poor still get their energy supplies from the forests, leading to deforestation and land degradation.
At the dawn of the millennium, Sheila Mponda, 60, waved goodbye to her four children, who were leaving Zimbabwe for the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures. Mponda had just lost her husband and had been a housewife all her life.
The shouts can be heard from a distance as one approaches Domboshawa, 30 kilometres northeast of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
To take his mangoes to Shurugwi, 230 kms south of Harare, requires Edward Madzokere to hire a cart and wake up at dawn. The fruit farmer sells his produce at the nearest “growth point” at Tongogara (the term for areas targeted for development) where the prices are not stable.
As the cock crows, Tambudzai Zimbudzana, 32, is suddenly awakened from sleep. She quickly folds her blankets and strides outside her three-room, sheet iron-roofed house in rural Masvingo.
Discussions around climate change have largely ignored how men and women are affected by climate change differently, instead choosing to highlight the extreme and unpredictable weather patterns or decreases in agricultural productivity.
Coffee production provides a quarter of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings and supports some 1.7 million smallholder farmers, but crop yields are being undermined by disease, pests and inadequate services from agricultural extension officers, as well as climatic changes in the East African country.