Poverty and Uneven Food Security in Urban Slums

Shukri F. Mohamed, Blessing Uchenna Mberu, Djesika D. Amendah, Elizabeth W. Kimani-Murage, Remare Ettarh, Lilly Scofield, Thaddeus Egondi, Frederick Wekesah and Catherine Kyobutungi


Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa

Despite increased recognition that urban slum dwellers are both extremely vulnerable and highly underserved, the national and international commitment to address urban food crises is constrained by a dearth of information. In Nairobi, Kenya, an estimated 60 % of the population live in slums or slum-like conditions. On average, the Nairobi poor spend 40–50 % of their income on food. This chapter asks whether the livelihood source of the primary breadwinner in the household determines the level of household food insecurity in an urban slum and analyses the predictors of overall food insecurity in a local slum context. Based on a survey of over 3000 households, the study found that having a stable formal job improves the urban household’s food security beyond the significant effect of income. As a corollary, urban dwellers in casual employment with lower and irregular income face chronic food insecurity. The study also found varying levels of food insecurity between different slums and across sub-groups within particular slums for reasons explored in this chapter.

Citation: 2016. In J. Crush and J. Battersby (eds.), Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa (Switzerland: Springer).


Featured City: Nairobi, Kenya

Featured Country: Kenya

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