Food insecurity and child malnutrition during Lockdown in Katanga Cell, Kawempe Division , 2019-2020
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The study looked at food insecurity and child malnutrition in Katanga slum location in Kawempe Division, Kampala Capital City Authority Uganda. The research was guided by three specific objectives; comparing the state of food insecurity before and during COVID-19 lockdown in the Katanga slums, analyzing the effectiveness of food security policies in addressing child malnutrition and suggesting the response to food insecurity in the case of future lockdowns. The study used a descriptive case study design which helped the researcher to study the phenomenon in its natural context. It was important to examine the increasing food insecurity in Katanga slum and in Uganda in general since little was known about their nutrition situation. The aim was to alert affected parties about the implication of the rising food insecurity in slums in the recent years. In the study, the secondary data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations were used to examine the trend of food insecurity and the data from the household-level and individual level in Katanga. The majority of the slum households were food insecure and they suffered from malnutrition. These were mostly children below the age of five because they feed on staple at the expense of nutritious rich foods. The rates of undernourishment were higher than the country’s statistics report suggesting that the slum dwellers deserved more explicit attention and initiative to improve nutrition. In an effort to ensure them food security during the COVID-19 lockdown, the government provided them relief food and this was distributed on 25th March 2020 and 12th June 2021. The government sent UGX100,000 to every household that had been categorized as being among the most vulnerable and the hardest hit by the lockdown. Therefore, for this policy direction to focus on the slums, the government should endeavour to provide the necessary economic infrastructure and policy commitment. It is hoped that this will improve the food security in the slums of Kampala.