Kenya: Food security for those in extreme poverty

Kenya income generation Lungalunga sub county

Lack of nutritious food is a significant problem in Kenya. CAFOD is working with the Caritas Archdiocese of Mombasa to develop food security for the poorest and most vulnerable households in the sub-counties of Kisauni and Lungalunga.

Kisauni Sub County is an urban area with made up of small plots of land, with no rivers and minimal access to water.  Lungalunga sub county is in an arid, rural setting, where at least 15% of children under five are malnourished and 70% of the population have only one meal a day.

About half of Kenya’s estimated population of 38.6 million are poor. Some 7.5 million live in extreme poverty, while over 10 million suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition. Agricultural production can barely cope with population growth, and this problem is made worse by recurrent droughts - resulting in food shortages, lack of water and conflict. HIV and AIDS also takes a toll on food production through the loss of working-age people to help grow the food. As many families’ farms and livestock cover only part of their food needs, even small reductions in their ability to purchase food can tip them into crisis.

The Project

Our aim is to reach a total of 7,500 men and women by improving their access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, by increasing their income levels and improving health. 

The project’s integrated approach responds to a number of root causes. Activities focus on livestock and crop production, preventing the spread of HIV, as well as initiatives that generate income. Several activities are being undertaken to increase crop and livestock production sustainably.  For example, field-based training sessions will be organised, and resilient types of seeds are being distributed, so that crops can withstand the harsh environmental conditions.

To tackle the challenges of illness, poverty and stigma encountered by families affected by HIV, our partner will work closely with the community members and faith leaders to form support groups, raise awareness, and help them identify income-generating opportunities.

As beneficiaries establish reliable sources of food, reduced HIV infections and increased incomes, they will be able to accumulate working capital to purchase the things they need to support and expand future agricultural activities and their businesses. These communities will be able to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Mr Tsuma Moti's story

Tsuma Moti Harvesting kale with his wife cropMr Tsuma Moti used to struggle to make ends meet. But in June 2016 he joined a savings and loans group in his village in Lungalunga, and started to scrape the little he could to start building savings.  Having saved up 1000 Kenyan shillings, he then borrowed 3000 shillings from the group with which he leased a 0.5 acre plot of land and bought kale seedlings to plant. Mr Moti started harvesting his crop after only two months. He makes an average net profit of 2000 Kenyan shillings every week from the sale of his kale. This helps him pay for his children’s school fees, meet other basic household needs, with enough left over to add to his savings.

“I TRIED GETTING THE PRODUCE TO THE MARKET BUT USUALLY, BUYERS SCRAMBLED FOR THE KALE.  MY CLIENTS NOW COME TO THE FARM BECAUSE THE COMMODITY IS SCARCE.”