Women selling vegetables at Jubilee market in Kisumu

Agriculture and food-related activities are important in Nyalenda and Obunga informal settlements in Kisumu county. Almost a third of the population is involved in farming activities. The crops mainly grown are those providing constant income, such as kales and maize. The two most important factors that shape food consumption in the settlements is availability and affordability. Lifestyle, culture and introduced customs play a role as well. The most common plate in Kisumu is made of ugali and vegetables, mostly kales. Meat is rarely consumed, but due to their preferences and culture, people eat fish.

In both slums, food hygiene is highlighted because some food-related diseases are jeopardizing the health of people. This study identified some hindrances namely poor quality of water, precarious sanitation systems, poor food handling and processing methods.

Kisumu inhabitants have access, on average, to a diverse diet Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS=7.48) and to an acceptable food consumption status Food Consumption Score(FCS=40). However, food and nutrition inequality is revealed. The number of different food items and the diversity of food groups consumed vary widely among the population.

By Dr. Nicky Pouw

Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam

Project team leader, Women Food Entrepreneur in Kisumu and Burkina Faso

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