Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Food Security in Kenya: A Case Study of Kisii County
Received Date: Jan 30, 2018 / Accepted Date: Mar 14, 2018 / Published Date: Mar 18, 2018
Climate variability and change has been found to be one of the factors that affect economies leading to food insecurity in various parts of the world. Kenya is no exception. This study looks at how climate variability has contributed to food insecurity in Kisii County, Kenya. The objectives of this study is therefore to, (i) to examine the rainfall and temperature trends in Kisii County for a period of 30 years, (ii) to examine the effect of climate variability on food production and (iii) to assess the perception of local farmers on weather and climate information, (iv) to evaluate the coping strategies adopted at household level to bridge the gap on food deficit and (v) to assess the nutritional status of children and the elderly in Kisii County. The data used was mainly rainfall and temperature data from meteorological stations and sample data gathered from selected groups. The study population comprised of children between 6 months and 59 months, household heads, elderly people and agricultural officers. Purposive sampling was used to select agricultural officers while multistage sampling was used to select respondents at household level. Primary data was collected by use of a pre-tested questionnaire. The Measurement of Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape was used to collect nutritional status of children while Body Mass Index (BMI) data was obtained from elderly people. Mann Kendall statistic was used to determine whether the trend of rainfall and temperature observed is significant while Chisquare test was used to determine whether the coping strategies observed varied significantly at household level. From the analysis, rainfall has not shown any significant change in Kisii County while temperature trend has been significantly increasing over the years at 95% confidence level. This could explain the observed reduction in river levels. Analysis of crop production and price trends of major food crops in Kisii County showed a decreasing trend of food production leading to increase in price over the years. This meant that farmers could not produce enough to take them to the next harvesting season, making farmers to adopt different coping strategies at household level which differed significantly according to Chi-Square test. Malnutrition status of both elderly people above 59 years and children between 6-59 months were similar with 23% of both children/elderly being severely malnourished. This study has only looked at climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature. Other aspects such as depth of underground water, pH level of soil and the effects of land fragmentation also need to be looked at. This study is important to both farmers in choosing the right crop to plant, and policy makers and planners in formulating the best mitigation and intervention strategies for Kisii County food insecurity problem. This will further contribute to national efforts towards achievement of vision 2030.
Keywords: Climate variability; Food security; Climate change adaptation; Malnutrition
Citation: Samwel MP, Abutto BA, Otieno VO (2018) Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Food Security in Kenya: A Case Study of Kisii County. J Earth Sci Clim Change 9: 452. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000452
Copyright: © 2018 Samwel MP, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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