Community-based programs strengthening food and nutrition security in Kenya

Food and nutrition security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
SANGO-Kenya works with the most vulnerable to develop community-based and supported programs that will strengthen the resilience of food and nutrition insecure individuals, households, and communities. SANGO-Kenya has grown out of food and nutrition insecurity research conducted by co-founder Dr. Constance Gewa, a nutritionist with a background in agriculture and public health. Originally from Kisumu County, Dr. Gewa has relationships with community members and local leaders and has worked with them throughout. The research and program designs are rooted in the needs expressed by the community members themselves.

Where We Work

SANGO-Kenya works in Kisumu County, Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria. SANGO is the name for Lake Victoria in the Dholuo language, the local language spoken by the Luo people.
The area in which we work has an arid climate, with inadequate and unreliable rainfall, and poor soil conditions. Despite its proximity to Lake Victoria, no irrigation is available.
These conditions result in an ever-increasing risk of increased rates of hunger as well as food and nutrition insecurity. Further, changes in climate patterns increase the challenge of ensuring a sustainable, resilient food system.

Partnering for Sustainability and Resilience

We are currently working with partners in Kisumu County, including the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, as well a local women groups, to address the issues of food and nutrition insecurity. Studies show that communities here suffer high levels of food insecurity: 26.3% of children under five years of age are stunted; only 17.6% of children 6-23 months old consume the recommended minimum meal frequency, and food insecurity is a hindrance to recommended breastfeeding practices.
Results of research led by Dr. Gewa in 2017 showed that 60% of households were severely food insecure across different seasons. The results of this research were presented to the community, including community leaders and local members of the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, in the summer of 2019. In these meetings, community members identified contributors to food insecurity and undernutrition including: inadequate and unreliable rainfall, poor soil conditions, lack of access to farm inputs and extension services, and limited knowledge and awareness of sustainable farming practices and nutrition.
Our goal is to increase the resilience of individuals, households, and communities to acute and chronic shocks that affect food security and nutrition, especially drought and other climate factors.

COVID-19 and SANGO-Kenya

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to monitor the health and safety of the SANGO-Kenya families and assess the impact on food and nutrition security. Kenya’s rural villages are experiencing a decrease in food availability, an increase in prices, and a reduction in income due to lost jobs. Our work is more important than ever and we will redouble our efforts to pursue innovative ways to fulfill our mission. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to keeping you updated in the months to come.
To learn more about the resilience of SANGO-Kenya field staff and farmers please click