Climate change poses a threat to nutrition and food security in Kilifi County, Kenya

Susan J. Cheruiyot, Mary Kimanthi, Jacob S. Shabani, Nelson F. Nyamu, Catherine Gathu, Felix Agoi, Fleur De Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the last decades, increased emission of greenhouse gases has led to hot weather extremes, heavy precipitation and worsening of agricultural and ecological droughts. Although Africa’s contribution to climate change is minimal, the continent is especially vulnerable to its effects. This report aims to describe the effect of climate change leading to drought in Kilifi County, Kenya, and the communities’ experiences of this effect on food availability. During their community rotation, residents from a university in Nairobi, Kenya, evaluated changes in weather patterns and nutrition indicators in Kilifi County and conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with community members and health care stakeholders to explore challenges in access to adequate nutrition and possible local solutions. Kilifi County has one of the highest rates of undernutrition in Kenya, with one in five under-5 children being underweight. County data showed that rainfall in the last 4 years has become increasingly unpredictable, resulting in reduced household milk production, one of the indicators of nutrition security. Three major themes emerged from the FGDs: lack of food variety, collapse of drought mitigating projects and increasing poverty levels. Possible solutions to these problems include promoting alternatives to the current diet that are culturally sensitive and adaptable to recent climate changes, ensuring continuity of agricultural and financial support projects and improved local leadership and governance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera3718
JournalAfrican Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Communities
  • Experience
  • Food security
  • Kenya.
  • Nutrition

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