Women’s perspectives and experiences of climate change with specific focus on drought in Kwa-Ngwanase, KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa.
Masinga, Fanelesibonge Nosipho.
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Climate change and drought are increasingly being discussed in South Africa, with many places being affected by the lack of seasonal rainfall. South Africa has some of most progressive policies in the world, yet most of these policies continue to exclude women. This is the case for women in rural Kwa-Ngwanase KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, a traditional subsistence farming area that has been affected by drought impacts for the past few years. The aim of the study was to understand the different experiences women lived under during drought impacts. The findings suggest that local government interventions have not benefited the lives of the vulnerable under drought conditions, with women indicating that more needs to be done to enable them to cope and adapt during drought hazards. The participants indicated that they used various coping mechanisms but continue to struggle under the impact of the harsh drought. Looking at their current situation, women feared the prospects of an unsustainable future. Women indicated that drought had made it difficult for them to access rainfall and water from the riverbeds due to the dryness of the climate. Furthermore, women indicated to have survived over minimal assistance provided by neighbours which was proved unsustainable. Ideally, women-centred government interventions should be made available to ensure that households are resilient, and able to cope and adapt to climate induced negative impacts.