Predictors of Food Insecurity in Mathare Valley Slum in Nairobi County, Kenya

Stellah Mong’ina Masese, Daniel Munyiala Muia


The right to food is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, and it is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This paper looks at predictors of food Mathare Valley in Nairobi County Kenya. The study site was sampled purposively; cluster sampling was done to identify the villagers that were to be included in the study, from each cluster one village was selected using simple random sampling, Sampling of households was done based on random numbers after which a systematic random sampling was done. Lastly, purposive sampling was done to draw a sample of key informants for in-depth interviews. Data that was collected was and analyzed using quantitative as well as qualitative approaches. Two thirds of the populations were under 45 years, engaged in casual jobs that pay less than Ksh.5000/= per month that is so little for them and the families in which the majority have household with 4-6 people who have various and different needs that need to be satisfied. A regression analysis was done to establish the predictors of food insecurity. These were being enrolled in food aid programme, being young and low incomes. The study concluded that there was food insecurity in Mathare Valley, which is mainly attributed to low incomes, unemployment high cost of living. The paper recommends that community economic empowerment be undertaken as the underlying cause of food insecurity in Mathare is the economic marginalization of residents. Efforts should also be put by all stakeholders to initiate community economic empowerment initiatives so as to ensure that the economic fortunes of the community are enhanced.

Keywords: Food security; informal settlements, Community empowerment; nutrition training

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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