Food security situation in the Chiawa area of the Zambezi river basin Kafue district Zambia
National food security is very important and most governments have put in place mechanisms through which to achieve it. In recent years, the household has become the primary focus when it comes to issues of food security. In Zambia, food insecurity has been affecting thousands of households in many districts. The government has in the last few years supported food insecure communities through food aid. In Kafue District, beneficiary communities include Chanyanya, Chiawa, Kabweza and Mungu. Chiawa has been supported with relief food for the last seven years including during the 2009/2010 farming season, when Zambia received good rainfall and recorded a historic bumper harvest. However, not much was known about the problem of food insecurity dynamics in Chiawa and so, there was knowledge gap. This study therefore aimed to explore the food insecurity situation and in turn help fill the gap by examining the food insecurity problem, factors that influenced it as well as the buoyancy of households towards food insecurity. The study covered four villages and these were namely Chiawa, Chisakila, Gotagota and Kabwadu. The study targeted 120 households from the four villages. Each village was taken as a cluster and each village register used as a sampling frame. Data was collected using a questionnaire that was divided into three sections. The first section collected data on household food insecurity, the second section collected data on factors that influenced household food insecurity and the last section on the resilience of households to food insecurity. These data sets were analyzed using frequency tables, descriptive statistics and cross tabulations. The other data was collected through focused group discussions on three thematic areas namely, crops cultivated and the season they were grown, commonly used coping strategies and perceived severity of food insecurity among households. These data were analyzed within the said thematic areas using the simple 1 – 4 Likert scale and weighting factors based on the perceived severity of food insecurity among households. Study results revealed that there was a problem of food insecurity in Chiawa affecting 19.4 percent of the respondents most severely, 60.2 percent moderately while 20.4 percent were least affected. The study identified five factors that influenced household food insecurity namely level of household income, assets households owned, types of livelihood sources households engaged, level of education attained and age of household heads. Furthermore, the study showed that there was lack of resilience to food insecurity among households in Chiawa as none of the households remained food secure throughout the year.
- Natural Sciences