Every Kenyan Has The Right To Adequate And Nutritious Food

By Soko Directory Team / Published April 29, 2021 | 7:30 am




KEY POINTS

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. 




The right to food is one of our economic and social rights, which the state is required to take steps to achieve for every citizen. Every citizen deserves access to adequate and nutritional food.

As a State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and under Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the government should respect, protect and fulfill the realization of the right to food for all Kenyans.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Attaining food security and adequacy is a complex task for which the primary responsibility rests with individual governments, which have to develop an enabling environment and have policies that ensure peace, and economic stability, equity, and gender equality.

According to experts, adequate food means more than simply caloric quantity. It means sufficient nutritious food – free from unsafe substances and acceptable within the culture – to support active, healthy living.

The World Bank defines food security to mean access by all people at all times to adequate food for an active healthy life and entails both the availability of food and the ability of all members to have access to an adequate amount of food.

According to the World Food Program, people are considered food secure when they have availability and adequate access at all times to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.

Furthermore, the World Food Program associates food security with the following three main elements:

  • Food availability: food must be available in sufficient quantities and consistently. It considers stock and production in a given area and the capacity to bring in food from elsewhere, through trade or aid
  • Food access: people must be able to regularly acquire adequate quantities of food, through purchase, home production, barter, gifts, borrowing, or food aid.
  • Food utilization: consumed food must have a positive nutritional impact on people. It entails cooking, storage and hygiene practices, individuals’ health, water and sanitation, feeding and sharing practices within the household.

To help Kenyans and other stakeholders to know and realize their right to adequate food, the Rural Outreach Africa (ROA) has partnered with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) through the “Strengthening Rural Governance for the Right to Adequate Food” project in Vihiga County.

The multi-country initiative by Welthungerhilfe is aimed to ensure that vulnerable food and nutrition insecure population groups (rights holders) in four countries in Africa and Asia enjoy improved availability and access to adequate food, using a rights-based approach.

In Kenya, the project is being implemented by Rural Outreach Africa in Vihiga County, western Kenya, from April 2020 to June 2024. The target groups include smallholder farmers (and other vulnerable groups), community leaders including village elders, duty bearers at the local, county, and national levels, civil society actors, journalists, legislators, and national and regional stakeholders.

Welthungerhilfe (WHH) is one of the largest non-governmental aid agencies in Germany and has supported Kenyan development organizations since the 1970s.

Welthungerhilfe has a vision of a world in which everyone can lead a self-determined life in dignity and justice, free from hunger and poverty. Hunger is the biggest solvable problem in the world.

ROA works with the farming communities in the western Kenya counties of Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Nandi, and Siaya. ROA aims to build on local strengths and mobilize resources to empower rural communities thus improving family incomes, food, and nutrition security while ensuring environmental protection.

ROA first entered Vihiga County in 2008 and we have since a good relationship with farmers and other stakeholders, and the County Government. Prof Ruth Oniang’o is the founder and director of ROA.

Through participatory engagement with the key stakeholders, the project will ensure that the rights holders in the project area have developed and voiced their agenda regarding key issues for the realization of their right to adequate food, engaged in multi-stakeholder dialogues on these issues, and held duty bearers to account.

Additionally, the initiative will engage administrative, political, and traditional duty bearers in Vihiga County to deliver better on the right to adequate food, guided by the principles of participation, transparency and accountability, non-discrimination, and rule of law.

The right to be free from hunger has been defined as the right “to have access to the minimum essential food which is sufficient and adequate to ensure everyone is free from hunger and physical deterioration that would lead to death.”

Under the international obligation outlined in the ICESCR, states must ensure “for everyone under its jurisdiction access to the minimum essential food which is sufficient, nutritionally adequate and safe.” Freedom from hunger is considered to be the minimum essential level of the right to food that states must ensure the satisfaction of, regardless of economic and political conditions.





About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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