African women scientists square up to climate change crisis

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African women scientists square up to climate change crisis

Amid the perils of a warming planet, fostering technical expertise among women reaps significant rewards

Busani Bafana

As a child, Kenyan meteorologist Saumu Shaka helped out on her parents’ small farm growing maize and pigeon peas – and learnt how the weather can hold food producers hostage.

“Looking back, the yield has declined over the years,” said Shaka, 28, who works with the Kenya Meteorological Department.

A decade ago her parents would get 25 sacks of maize from their six hectares in Taita Taveta County, southeast of Nairobi. Today that has dwindled to five bags at most, because of erratic rainfall that can also spur crop-destroying pests...

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