Influence Of Food Aid And Food Security On Health Of Mothers And Children Among Pastoralist Communities In Samburu East District, Kenya

The influence of food aid and food security intervention on the health of mothers and children under the ages of 5 years were assessed in the project. Little is known about the effect of food aid on mothers’ and child’s health outcomes. In Kenya drought has led to reduction in crop production, rangeland and forest productivity; reduced water levels; increased fire hazard; increased livestock and wildlife death rates and damage to wildlife. The objectives of the study were; To assess the food distributed in the community of Wamba Division Samburu East District, to assess the accessibility of the food aid by the mothers in Wamba Division Samburu East District, to assess the quantity of foods supplied to the mothers and children of Samburu East District, to assess food security in the community of Wamba Division Samburu East District. The study adopted a cross-sectional design to collect quantitative and qualitative data to address the research objectives and employed self-administered questionnaires and key informant guides and focused group discussions to collect information from the respondents. A sample size of 204 respondents was allocated proportionately to seven locations in Samburu East District based on the number of households in each location. The data was analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences. The study identified the type of food aid provided in Samburu East included maize, milk formulae, rice, soya beans, Oil, and sugar. Majority of the respondents (53.4%) indicated they lacked nutritional knowledge. Concerning accessibility, 87.7% accessed the food aid distribution centers by walking, with 55.4% walking more than three kilometers to the food distribution centers. This was a major challenge to the mothers who had to walk long distances. The quantities distributed were not enough since 80% of the respondents in the study received 2Kgs of maize that would last them for a whole week. Famine is the main threat to Food security. Further, the study showed 62.7% of the respondents were unemployed hence could not afford to buy food and 62.3% of respondents earned below one dollar per day. The findings showed that in-adequate water, nomadic lifestyles and poverty contribute majorly to food insecurity. It is recommended that the government should draft policies and employ massive campaign on education in order to improve nutrition practices. The Non-governmental organization and the government should employ Community Managed Targeting and Distribution to provide food aid to the neediest people. The study concludes that famine and lack of nutritious food affect food security and health of mothers and children in Samburu East District. The results will assist the Government, Non-Governmental Organizations and other actors’ improve food security, maternal and child health in the area.