English translation provided by community member Anna L.
As a woman, I'm directly affected by climate change, just like everyone else. Before 1984, South Kivu was a place of natural beauty, but following the wars and influx of refugees, the great need for firewood, coal, and plain economic need led to intense and destructive deforestation. Before, trees covered the hills in our villages; they made the hills beautiful and marked where fields began and ended. Now, this has all disappeared and the fresh air with it; now it can be difficult to know where your field's boundaries are.
Life became precarious in the villages so farmers fled to the city and settled there, which led to overpopulation and a rural exodus. Now the city is overpopulated, the remaining trees have been cut down to build unregulated housing, and the result is poor living conditions in general.
Now we have seasonal disturbances, a longer dry season, and higher temperatures at night. Rain has become scarce; here it is the end of September and farmers haven't sown their fields yet for lack of rain. Women must speak up because women and children are the first to suffer consequences of climate change such as famine, lack of water, lack of fresh air, and bad smells. Women's voices must be heard because if decision makers make decisions without women, the resulting imbalance could lead to their actions failing. Women love peace, solidarity, and well-being. If women have peace, they can work effectively to battle climate change, to reforest the land, to protect the rivers and seedlings from animals. Improving and setting up electrical power would lessen deforestation.