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The State of Food Insecurity among Households in Juba River Basin, Southern Somalia

Ali Ahmed


In the absence of a working state for the last over 25 years, hunger and malnutrition have been serious challenges in Somalia and great causes for concern to the international humanitarian community. Given the state of insecurity in Somalia, it is important that continuous research be done to understand the causes of lack of food and the consequences to the society. Juba River Basin has always been a major producer of food for Somalia. Yet, the state of household food insecurity in the Juba River Basin is an under-researched topic, and even reports by NGOs do not speak much of this crucial region. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine current state of household food insecurity in Juba Valley Region of Southern Somalia. The study results on state of household food insecurity indicate that 75% households are severely food insecure. Similarly, measure on household food insecurity access-related domains revealed that 80% of the households fall in domain 1 of worry and anxiety about food due to lack of resources, 84% of the respondents fall in domain 2 of insufficient quality food and as a result eat less preferred foods. Further, 85% of the households experience hunger (domain 3) where they reduce their meals per day. Thirty eight percent of the respondents face severe hunger according to the household hunger scale.  A majority of the respondents (18.7%) blamed it on recurrent droughts where 16.5% stated that pests and diseases were big problem for crop production. Lack of fertilizers, appropriate seeds and farm implements/tools (12%, 10.7% and 14% were among some of the concerns of the study respondents.  Figure 7 illustrates limiting factors to food production.

Key words: food insecurity, Juba, Somalia, households