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Food Systems in Informal Urban Settlements—Exploring Differences in Livelihood Welfare Factors across Kibera, Nairobi

  • Soma, Katrine
  • Janssen, Valerie C.J.
  • Ayuya, Oscar Ingasia
  • Obwanga, Benson
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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The number and sizes of informal settlements are expected to increase drastically in the future, and dramatically so in Sub-Saharan Africa, where migration from rural to urban areas is increasing, and poverty and food insecurity threaten livelihoods. Data sources explaining livelihood factors in informal settlements are scarce, and often highly disputed. In this study, Kibera is investigated, one of the largest informal settlements in Africa. The main aim is to analyze differences in livelihood factors across the villages in Kibera, and to explain some of the existing discrepancies in food security levels among its population. In particular, livelihood factors such as tribe, welfare and trust can explain some of the variation in food security across 12 of the 13 villages located in Kibera. The analyses inform of significant differences across the villages when it comes to, among others, income, food insecurity, ownership of land in rural areas, tribal background and trust levels in strangers and community leads. To reach the millions of people living in informal settlements now, and increasingly so in the future, it is advised that research and implementation go hand in hand, with enhanced understanding of the complexities within rural–urban food systems to ensure solutions that are affordable and accessible to low-income groups. On this pathway to fight poverty and hunger in the future, today’s policies and programs must take such complexities into account to positively contribute to strengthening the resiliency and sustainability of rural–urban food systems by ensuring an increase in welfare levels with zero climate impact.

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