Kenya: Improving the Nutritional Status of Vulnerable Families and HIV-Affected Individuals through Greenhouse Farming
Building Livelihoods and Food Security: January 2017
January 09, 2017
Summary of Activities
While working at Lodwar District Hospital (renamed Lodwar County & Referral Hospital), RMF Project Coordinator Emma Fredah Kiriungi observed the effects of food insecurity and undernourishment on HIV-positive individuals, especially mothers and their children. Inadequate nutrition has been identified as the main health concern for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Kenya, as it compromises the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and further weakens the immune system. The problem is significant in Turkana, where 80% of households remain food insecure. According to the 2014 Kenya HIV county profile, the national average for HIV prevalence is 6.04, while in Turkana County, the prevalence is 7.6. HIV prevalence among women is also higher than among men in Turkana, at approximately 10.8% vs. 6.5%. Initiated by our Kenya Project Coordinator, RMF is pleased to begin our new livelihood project, offering a long-term, sustainable solution to food insecurity for vulnerable families in Turkana County.
Ensuring Respect and Community Ownership
The project will continually listen to beneficiaries’ concerns and needs, and aid beneficiaries in developing their own action plan and prioritizing projects.
Building Longevity and Effectiveness
A rapid valuation of mediations needed by PLHIV will be carried out with the Ministry of Health and the Turkana County Department of Disaster Management, and the project will be implemented in close alliance with government ministries:
- The Ministry of Health
- The Ministry of Agriculture
- The Ministry of Disaster Management
Sharing Best Practices and Efficiency
RMF will also consult other NGOs working in the area to share best practices, avoid duplication of services, and identify service gaps.
Providing Accountability and Analysis
Our team will practice transparent discourse and consultation with beneficiaries to agree on participatory tools for project monitoring. M&E staff will regularly review data, undertake field visits, and meet with partners and beneficiaries. Regular meetings will also be held (at least bimonthly) with local partners and county officials to ensure project efficiency.
Provide Climate Adaptive Livelihood Interventions
- Support 150 non-nomadic PLHIV households with farming inputs
- Establish 10 greenhouse farming facilities in target areas
- Construct 4 storage facilities in the agropastoral zone location in Lodwar County & Referral Hospital
- Train beneficiaries on greenhouse farming, budget planning, good agronomic practices, and leadership
Empower Targeted Households to Maintain Food Security
- 150 targeted households able to meet their basic needs through greenhouse farming
- Sustainability of greenhouse farming sustainably improving the nutritional status of beneficiaries
RMF has been active in the drought region of Turkana County, Kenya since 2009, initially providing emergency relief, and continuing to improve the quality and accessibility of health care in the region. Despite our efforts and those of the Kenyan government and other organizations, 80% of households in Turkana remained food insecure in 2015, and undernourishment continued to negatively affect the health and livelihoods of HIV-positive community members (6.5% HIV prevalence in men and 10.8% HIV prevalence in women as of 2014).
In January 2017, RMF initiated our greenhouse farming project, which targets 150 households, primarily those of HIV-positive women and mothers of childbearing age who seek treatment at Lodwar County & Referral Hospital. Through this livelihood pilot program, RMF aims to provide a long-term, sustainable solution to undernourishment, food insecurity, and limited livelihood skills among HIV-positive women and mothers, as well as their families, in Turkana County, Kenya.
- Improve the nutrition status of HIV-infected and affected families
- Provide a long-term, sustainable livelihood and food security solution
- Build capacity, infrastructure, and confidence within the local community
150 farming households supported with climate adaptive livelihood interventions: greenhouse technology. It is believed that the interventions will extend to the broader population as well, benefiting the prosperity and stability of the community as a whole.