A large population in Busia is struggling to put a nutritious meal on their table, especially the poor and middle-class families.

According to Busia County Nutritionist Coordinator Scholastica Navade, despite Busia County having plenty of food, not many people adhere to a nutritious diet in their meals.

“The preliminary result in the study that is going on nutrition in Busia county shows that even for the very poor, the poor and the middle-class families, are really struggling to make a nutritious meal on their diet.” Adding that “the consumption of milk, eggs and even the indigenous vegetables is not as good as we had expected.”

Addressing the stakeholders in the health sector in Busia, Navade attributed poor dieting to the high cost of living terming it as “way above the affordability of various households.”

Through the survey, Navade said it will help the stakeholders “develop the strategy to reduce the cost of diet in a given household”.

She noted that they will bring on board the Department of Agriculture and health care fraternity to identify what each department can do to achieve that.

“We are looking at this in a multisectoral approach, what can the agriculture department do to reduce the cost of production, what can the health care fraternity do to sensitize our community about what they are required to do to have adequate diet in their households,” she noted.

She added, “There is poor dietary diversity in Busia as a County, yet the county produces a lot, most of it does not end up on the table.”

“We are here to analyze this report and be able to look at strategies that can make sure that whatever is produced in Busia ends up first for home consumption so that it can improve the nutrition security in this county.” She stated

The Department of Agriculture in Busia County has already drafted food security policies to be able to incorporate the observations made in the study.

According to Muturi Frank, the officer in charge of Agri-nutrition services in the Department of Agriculture, they have developed ward-based programs with the intention of improving food production for the Busia residents.

“The department has come up with ward-based programs that aim at producing enough food. The only challenge we are facing is that we have realized that there is a decrease in food production in Busia due to climate change and soil acidity that hampers the productivity per unit area.” He said.

Dr Janerose Ambuchi, director of Medical services in Busia County noted that cases of stunted growth among the children as a result of poor diet have improved from 22 percent in previous years to 15 percent.

“According to the last Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) 2022, our stunting rate stands at 15 percent a little bit of improvement from what we had of 22 per cent in previous years which means, we have got interventions that we have put in place to improve this indicator. We do not want to have any stunting growth child in our county,” she stated.

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