Busia is located in the Lake Victoria Basin in Western Kenya, directly at the Ugandan border and has a population of around 110,000 inhabitants (2019) living on 45 km2.
In April 2021, a team of experienced enumerators visited 150 households in Busia 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 Busia, which increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 9.1% of the children under 5 years were too short for their age and therefore stunted, and 10.8% were underweight. Furthermore, 49.4% of women and 17.6% of men were overweight. Around half of the women did not report an adequately diverse diet (47.7% consumed less than 5 food groups in the previous 24 hours). All this indicates the kind of obstacles faced by the urban population of Busia 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 66%. 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. The County of Busia partners with the NICE consortium for this project.