Outcome 1 – Governance & Systems

Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya gives every person the right to the highest attainable standard of health, freedom from hunger, and access to adequate food of acceptable quality. The mission of Kenya’s Nutrition Action Plan “To reduce all forms of malnutrition in Kenya, using well-coordinated multisectoral and community centered approaches for optimal health for all Kenyans and the country’s economic growth is devoted to the county-level where county specific County Nutrition Action Plans (CNAP) are in place. Unfortunately, Bungoma has never finalised its 2018/19-2022/23 CNAP and setting-up of a 2023/24-2027/28 CNAP has not yet been a priority.

However, despite not having a CNAP and despite stalling of Kenya’s draft Food Safety Policy since 2021, Bungoma County, with support from several partners including the NICE project, has worked on the formulation of a County-level Food Safeyt Policy currently awaiting approval from the General Assembly.

The idea of a multisectoral food systems platform to be established in line with initiatives already in place in Nairobi (Nairobi Food Council) and Kisumu (Food Liaison Advisory Group) has been re-bolstered in Bungoma after the national elections in August 2022 and first suggestions of potential food systems platforms stakeholders (including agriculture stakeholders, education stakeholders, environment stakeholders, health stakeholders (nutrition coordination), social services stakeholders etc.) were made. A meeting in Kisumu where suggested food systems platform stakeholders met and exchanged with members of Kisumu’s multi-stakeholder Food Liaison Advisory Group took place on 31Jan2023 further bolstering the launch of a multi-sectoral, non-government driven food systems platform on 13Apr2023. Bungoma’s multi-sectoral food systems platform finally validated its Terms of Reference on 03Nov2023.

February 15, 2024

Outcome 2 – Availability, Production & Value Chains

In November 2021, a group of 12 experts was convened in Bungoma to select the key value chains for the NICE project in a participatory, multi-stakeholder approach. Different value chains were rated as per the general value chain selection criteria of the project with scoring each value chain on a 3-point scale (1-3) and excluding commodities with a low total score from further consideration. Agreement was achieved on further supporting the following 3 value chains through the NICE project:

  • Poultry
  • Groundnuts
  • African leafy vegetables (spider plant, black nightshade)

In order to further support the above mentioned value chains, 50 NICE farmers’ hubs (23 male headed, 27 female headed, and 8 of of them headed by men/women < 35 years of age) have been established in the Bungoma area through NICE since project start. NICE also organizes regular Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) trainings in the selected value chains: Between July and December 2023, 1’302 farmers have been approached through these trainings, with nearly one third of them beeing farmers <35 years and half of them women. Similarly, 5 farmers’ field days sharing learning on various production technologies have also been organized in the second half of 2023.

A farmers’ survey to understand the status and potential for agroecological practices in Bungoma using an adapted version of FAO’s Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists tool (SHARP) with 150 farmers was conducted in March 2022 to inform the agroecology work.

February 15, 2024

Outcome 3 – Knowledge & Demand

To foster demand and knowledge for nutritious foods produced using agroecological practices, NICE supported the re-activation of 15 school-based 4K-clubs in Bungoma and organized respective sensitization workshops for 12 of them while also training 45 connected Early Childhood Develeopment and Education center (ECDE) teachers and 36 healthcare workers on nutrition, growth monitoring, vitamin A supplementation and kitchen gardening.

Awareness about agroecological practices and the need for diverse diets has also been rosen through a social behavior change communication campaign “TUELIMIKE – chakula bora, maisha bora” (engl. transl. Let us be informed / educated) reaching up to 6000 city dwellers through community activations in 2 schools, 3 health centers, 4 markets and 9 farmers’ centers.

Formative research has been been conducted in Bungoma in October 2022 to best target the socials behavior change communication activities.

February 15, 2024

Outcome 4 – Policy, Learning & Scale-up

Knowledge sharing and learning activities in Bungoma are currently largely focused on exchanging experiences and forging synergies with the other NICE cities in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Rwanda. NICE focal persons at city level actively participated in 8 online peer-learning sessions in June and November 2022, January, April, July and December 2023, and January and February 2024 where valuable inputs were shared. Furthermore, the responsible project city coordinator participated together with a few county officers in the NICE Winter School in Kenya 11-18Feb2023 and 2 city reprensentatives will participate in a peer-learning week in Switzerland in March 2024.

Also, NICE Kenya regularly exchanges with FAO on similarities between city nutrition projects and engages in Kenya’s UNFSS dialogue. Furthermore, NICE hosted a high-level policy makers meeting involving county CECs, county government and Council of Governors in Kisumu on 17May2023 to propose ways of harmonizing policies, legislations, strategies and regulations between the counties.

February 15, 2024

Baseline Situation

At baseline, a team of experienced enumerators visited 150 households in Bungoma to collect information on the nutritional status, socio-economic information and consumption behavior of the city population. This survey revealed food insecurity in nearly all (88.7%) of the visited households in Bungoma, which increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 12.6% of the children under 5 years were too short for their age and therefore stunted, and 8.2% were underweight. Furthermore, 50.6% of women and 16.7% of men were overweight. Around half of the women did not report an adequately diverse diet (47.3% consumed less than 5 food groups in the previous 24 hours). All this indicates the kind of obstacles faced by the urban population of Bungoma to access a diverse and nutritious diet, with likely negative effects on their longer-term health. On the other hand, many of the urban and peri-urban households owned farmland, overall 63%. This provides an opportunity for NICE activities to assist in an increase and diversification of locally and agroecologically produced nutritious foods and in making them more accessible for the city population, including vulnerable city population groups. Baseline data were collected in May 2021.

The County of Bungoma partners with the NICE consortium for this project.