Nepali Congress central committee member Dr Arzu Rana Deuba has said Nepali women have been mostly affected from the impacts of climate change, expressing view that access of Nepali women to the latest technology should be increased.
Addressing the Asia-level conference organised by ‘The Foundation of the Welfare and Education of the Asian People’ in Tokyo of Japan on Tuesday, lawmaker Dr Rana laid emphasis on the need of modern technology for herbs processing as well as ensuring market of traditional medicinal products to lessen climate change impacts.
Also the Chairperson of Agriculture, Cooperative and Natural Resources Committee under the House of Representatives, Rana mentioned that climate change is not only the major problem for Nepal, it is a global problem.
“Nepal has been ranked at the fourth among the hardest-hit countries by climate change. A big challenge has been created due to landslide and floods due to seasonal and off-seasonal heavy rainfall”, she shared.
In German’s Watch Climate Risk Index 2020, Nepal was ranked at ninth hardest-hit nation by climate calamities during the period from 1999-2018, added Dr Rana.
The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal found that the average annual maximum temperature increased by 0.056 degree Celsius from 1971-2014. A total of 14 glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOFs) occurred from 1935-1991 as well as 21 GLOFs have been identified as being potentially dangerous at present.
Landslide and flood occurred at different places in 2018 had caused losses of around Rs 70 billion as well as thousands of houses, farmland and roads suffered damages.
The parliamentarian further said scientists have confirmed that risk of diseases like malaria and dengue have increased in the mountainous areas due to increasing mercury.
She shared that hazardous situations caused by climate change further exacerbate pre-existing gender inequalities which are compounded by variables such as poverty, racism, ethnic minority, homelessness, statelessness and disabilities.
As a result, these inequalities, women and girls are more exposed risk and losses of livelihood caused by disaster as they are less able to adapt to changes in climatic condition.
Presenting an example of the varied impact and hazard of climate change on gender basis, she argued that the climate change has been further pushing the gender disparity caused due to the impact of climate change. She shared that the climate change is having more impact especially on the poor population, those suffering from caste discrimination, homeless and stateless people and people with disabilities.
According to her, women and young girls were more vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change.
In 2015 the Government of Nepal had identified immediate and most urgent works to be carried out for mitigating to the climate change impacts through the National Adaptation Programme of Action.
On the occasion, lawmaker Rana stated that the inadequacy of non-agricultural employment in the rural areas was also impacting on the capacity and diverse income sources of women.
“There is still the condition in which people have to work with nominal wages in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors owing to the existing gender disparity in the labour market,” Dr Rana said, adding that although the Constitution of Nepal has ensured equal political and economic rights to women, no visible change is yet discernible in the social and administration sector.
She stressed on the need of ensuring gender sensitivity to achieve the goals stipulated in the development sector, treaties and agreements.
Stating that the population living under multi-dimensional poverty in Nepal at present is 28.6 per cent of the total population, she said the climate change impact is seen in greater degree as a large number of populations living under multi-dimensional poverty are dependent on agriculture.
Dr Rana informed RSS that besides Nepal, participants from India, Cambodia, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, among other countries are attending the programme.