As the sun is hot and shines bright, Mambo heads to a nearby forest. Carrying a big bamboo basket on her back that is wider than her size. Mambo runs through the dust bare feet to go fetch wood fuel for her mother.
She had just returned from school and had a meal of fufu corn and vegetables. Mambo is on her 2 km journey happily chewing sugar cane.
That was 15 years ago in a small village. Mambo was the lone daughter and child of her mum. She had the task to fetch wood fuel for their home as part of her daily chores.
As time went by that forest got degraded as all other families rely on wood fuel for cooking and heating. The trees were gradually cut down and today that village is highly deforested. Presently the children go even further to fetch wood fuel for the family.
The inhabitants have destroyed the natural environment and women are especially engaged in this practice. Looking across this village you can observe the effects of erosion everywhere and the foundations of houses are exposed.
Till date the villagers still depend on wood as source of energy.
Today Mambo has become an environmental activist, working hard to fight deforestation which is one of the causes of climate change. She realized that women also play an important role in protecting the environment because they can have a strong impact on the amount of carbon emissions in our atmosphere.
She has experienced the fact that women’s decisions regarding cooking fuel, cooking technology and which foods they choose to buy have an impact on the amount of carbon emission released. In her community, women also often have a say in agricultural practices that have an impact because they can determine whether carbon is released or stored in agricultural soils and above ground biomass.
Mambo fights for the participation of women in the formulation, planning and execution of environmental policy. At the same time, the international community has recognized that without women's full participation, sustainable development cannot be achieved.
Women have a key role to play in preserving the environment and natural resources, and in promoting sustainable development.In many areas, women are the ones making household purchasing decisions at markets. Because of this women directly impact the amount of carbon emitted through the production, distribution, use and disposal of goods.
Generally, women still have the main responsibility for meeting household needs and are therefore a major force in determining consumption trends. To promote sustainable development, a number of governments have taken steps to incorporate a gender perspective into their national environmental policies and programs.
There is growing recognition of the need to strengthen women's capabilities to participate in environmental decision-making, by increasing their access to information and education, particularly in the areas of science, technology and economics.