Journal of Food Security
ISSN (Print): 2372-0115 ISSN (Online): 2372-0107 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jfs Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
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Journal of Food Security. 2021, 9(3), 94-100
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-9-3-1
Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Household Food Security Situation during the Covid-19 Lockdown in Kenya

Dinga Lynette Aoko1 and Ojijo Nelson K. Olang’o2,

1Department of Human Nutrition Sciences, School of Food and Nutrition Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P. O. Box 62000, 00200, Nairobi, Kenya

2Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Food and Nutrition Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P. O. Box 62000, 00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Pub. Date: June 01, 2021

Cite this paper:
Dinga Lynette Aoko and Ojijo Nelson K. Olang’o. Assessment of Household Food Security Situation during the Covid-19 Lockdown in Kenya. Journal of Food Security. 2021; 9(3):94-100. doi: 10.12691/jfs-9-3-1

Abstract

Food security remains a key challenge in Kenya. A household is considered to be food insecure when they lack physical and economic access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life at all times. In the last six months or so, vulnerability to food insecurity has been exacerbated by the raging effects of COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed the Government of Kenya to impose a partial lockdown in the month of April, 2020, in the counties of Nairobi and Mombasa. This survey sought to assess the effects of the ongoingCOVID-19 lockdown on household food security situation in Kenya. A survey was conducted from June to July 2020 through a structured questionnaire which was administered through online social networks. A total of 444 responses were received, but only 80 were completely filled. Quantitative data were collected on the socio-demographic characteristics, dietary practices and coping strategies based on a set of questions to assess behavioral responses to manage incipient household food shortage. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Descriptive statistics such as mean, percentages and frequencies were carried out; relationships between the variables were assessed using chi-square test, Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression. Significance levels were determined at 95 percent confidence interval where a p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant. The prevalence of low, medium and high dietary diversity scores were 7.5 percent, 17.5 and 75 percent, respectively, implying that the majority of the respondent households were food secure with pockets of food insecure households within the Nairobi Metropolitan region. There was a significant relationship between household dietary diversity and household income source (χ²=7.71, p=0.02), household perceived economic pressure during the COVID-19 lockdown (χ²=20.37, p<0.01), and household perceived ability to meet their food needs (χ²=18.01, p<0.01). Consumption of less preferred and less expensive foods was the most (30 percent) often used coping strategy against food insecurity. The study recommends putting up mitigation strategies to support pockets of food insecure households during lockdowns imposed by state agencies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords:
food security COVID-19 lockdown dietary diversity household income household economic pressure household food needs

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