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. Busia county had a functional CNAP 2018/19 – 2022/23 aiming to ensure that the entire county population achieves optimal nutrition for a healthier and better quality of life. A multi-sectoral review of the 2018/19 – 2022/23 CNAP took place, facilitated by NICE, on 26Jun2023. NICE facilitated a sensitization workshop to disseminate and validate the CNAP Review Findings and to seek seek consensus form the stakeholders on the recommendations to inform the development of the next generation CNAP that is realistic, cost effective and efficient and within the available resource envelope. This workshop was held on 12Oct2023. Similarly, 16-19Oct2023 NICE facilitated a customization workshop for drafting Bunomga’s new County Agri-Nutrition Implementation Strategy (CANIS).

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 12Apr2023. Busia’s multi-sectoral food systems platform finally validated its Terms of Reference on 06Oct2023

February 15, 2024

Outcome 2 – Availability, Production & Value Chains

In November 2021, a group of 23 experts was convened in Busia 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 4 value chains through the NICE project:

  • Poultry
  • Fish (Tilapia)
  • Orange-flesh sweet potatoes
  • African leafy vegetables (spider plant, black nightshade)

In order to further support the above mentioned value chains, 50 NICE farmers’ hubs (31 male headed, 19 female headed, and 9 of of them headed by men/women < 35 years of age) have been established in the Busia 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, 1’208 farmers have been approached through these trainings, with one third of them beeing farmers <35 years and nearly 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 current status and potential for agroecological practices in Busia 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 December 2021 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 trained 60 Early Childhood Develeopment and Education center teachers and 40 healthcare workers on nutrition, growth monitoring, vitamin A supplementation and kitchen gardening in early 2023. Later on, in partnership with UNICEF, Busia’s Education Department has been supported in sensitizing Board of Management members from 40 schools/ECDE centers on the new Implementation Guidelines of Busia’s Nutrition Policy to pave the way for full roll out as from Term 1 of 2024 following the budgetary allocation by the County Government.

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 7900 city dwellers through community activations in 2 schools, 3 health centers, 4 markets and 3 farmers’ centers.

Formative research has been been conducted in Busia 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 Busia 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, Busia hosted a physical peer-learning week with representatives from the other projects sides around the world and respective city representatives of these cities, as well as from Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Bambilor (Senegal) 11-18Feb2024. Two representatives of Busia county are currently preparing to participate in a peer-learning week with the cities of Geneva and Zurich 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 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. 7.8% of the children under 5 years were too short for their age and therefore stunted, and 12.8% 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. Baseline data were collected in April 2021.

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