Changing Feeding Routines as a Strategy for Coping with Drought in Rural KenyaJournal: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) (Vol.7, No. 7)
Publication Date: 2018-07-05
Authors : Julius M. Huho;
Page : 1350-1354
Keywords : Drought; food shortage; coping strategy; feeding routine;
Drought is a recurrent phenomenon in Kenya occurring every year in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and resulting in chronic food shortages. Nevertheless, the problem of food shortage is not only a preserve of the ASALs but also occur in humid regions. Nyairoko sub location in Nyandarua County, Kenya has a sub humid climate. Although the sub location is largely food self-sufficient, occasional droughts cause food shortages. Failure of the October, November and December (OND) short rains in 2016 and delayed onset of the March, April and May (MAM) long rains led to poor crop performance. The drought was accompanied by frost, moderate winds and pests. The consequence was severe food shortage in 2017. To cope with food shortage, households changed their feeding routines depending on availability of food. Three changes in feeding routines namely removal or skipping of some of the meals, reducing the size of food ration and changes in meal types were observed. Whereas the first two changes took place simultaneously, the latter was the last to be effected. Although this strategy lengthened the period of food availability, it resulted in poor health of the members of households due to the small portion of food consumed as a result of scarcity and reduced appetite for the available alternative food.
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