Gujarat’s women group gets UN award

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Katowice (Poland), Dec 11 (IANS) India’s Gujarat on Tuesday got a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) award for women’s leadership with low cost and sustainable technology to tackle storms.

The Gender Just Climate Solutions Award of the Women and Gender Constituency, one of the nine stakeholder groups of the UNFCCC, was given to Gujarat at a side event of the ongoing 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) in this Polish city in the technical category.

The award mentions that Gujarat, prone to short periods of heavy rains and flooding, followed by long droughts, has combined women’s leadership with low cost and sustainable technology to tackle the severe impacts of excessive rainwater from storms.

This technology protects groundwater via a filtration system and increases soil fertility by reducing salinity.

The units conserve one to four million litres of runoff water and can irrigate 22 acres during the dry season. While women still do not own the land, by owning the technology they help their community double their harvest which in turns has a tremendous impact on their role in the community as decision-makers.

Since 2011, more than 3,500 units have been installed in India and also increasingly abroad, in Ghana, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Each installed “Bhungroo” provides food security for 30 to 100 people, generating an additional income of about $5700 per year, a statement by the UNFCCC said.

Established in 2009, the Women and Gender Constituency now consists of 28 women’s and environmental civil society organisations, who are working to ensure that women’s voices and their rights are embedded in all processes of the UNFCCC framework.

The other winners are Dorothee Lisenga of CFLEDD, Clive Chibule of the Green living Movement and Trupti Jain of Naireeta Services.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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