Food Security among Batwa in a Changing Climate in Kanungu District

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2015

33 Pages, Grade: B+


Table of Contents


1.0 Background

2.0 Statement of the Problem

3.0 Objectives of the study

4.0 Scope of the Study

5.0 Justification of the Study

6.0 Methodology

6.1 Study Area

7.0 Findings and results of the study
7.1 Demographic characteristics of the study population.
7.1.1 Gender of Respondents
7.1.2 Age Brackets
7.1.3 Level of Education Attained
7.1.4 Status of Employment
7.1.5 Employment Type among Batwa Communities
7.2 Indicators of climate change in Kanungu District
7.3 Current food security status among Batwa communities
7.3.1 Availability of food at household level;
7.3.2 Sustenance of food in a period;
7.3.3 Food variety and nutrition;
7.3.4 Daily dietary intake at household level
7.3.5 Consistency in the size of food eaten by adults in the household
7.3.6 Proportion of food eaten by adult members of the household
7.3.7 Adult food consumption status at household level;
7.3.8 Daily adult hunger incidences at household level;
7.3.9 Quality of food fed to children in a household
7.3.10 Food variety and nutrition among children in a household
7.3.11 Meal consumption status among children
7.3.12 Consistency of food portions given to children in a household;
7.3.13 Variability in meal consumption among children in a household;
7.3.14 Hunger incidences among children in the household
7.3.15 Daily hunger incidences among children at household level
7.4 Future food security and strategies for enhancing food security in a changing climate
7.5 Policy recommendations towards enhancing food security amidst changing climate in Batwa communities in Kannungu

8.0 Discussions, Recommendations and Conclusion
8.1 Indicators of Changing Climate
8.2 Assessing the current food security status amongst Batwa communities
8.3 Analyzing future food security and strategies for enhancing food security in a changing climate
8.4 Policy recommendations to be undertaken on how to enhance food security in a changing climate

9. Recommendations of the study

10. Conclusion




Climate change is increasingly becoming a major topical issue globally and its impact on food security has a long standing interest world over amongst researchers in a quest to establish a sustainable food supply systems to the ever increasing populations. The study was carried out on food security and the changing climate among Batwa communities in Kannungu district. The specific objectives of the study were; to identify the indicators of changing climate in Kanungu, assess the current food security status amongst Batwa communities, analyze future food security and strategies for enhancing food security in a changing climate, and suggest policy recommendations to be undertaken on how to enhance food security in a changing climate. The study was conducted using secondary data collected by IHACC (Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change) project operating in Batwa communities as the primary source of information with Focus Group interviews at Mukongolo Batwa settlement to supplement on the existing literature through getting firsthand information on study objectives. At the end of the study, it was established that Batwa communities severely suffer from food insecurity with constrained access to land as a major resource a problem further catalyzed by poor knowledge and adaptive capacity towards the current changes in climate. The study concluded that capacity building about issues of climate change is detrimental in necessitating food security among Batwa communities. The study also concludes that Batwa communities should benefit more from proceeds of managing of Bwindi impenetrable National park since it was their ancestral land which may enhance them to be entitled to the benefits from the income generated from the park to improve their livelihood sustainability.Therefore the study recommended that capacity building on climate change, stream lining the tenure system among Batwa communities and infrastructural developments as policy recommendations to enhance food security amidst the changing environment.

1.0 Background

Food security refers to a state achieved when food system operate such that 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 [FAO 1996].Erickson [2008] contends that activities related to production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food and their outcomes contribute to food security. Despite world efforts towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal of halving the population experiencing hunger by 2015, UNEP estimations point out that 25% of the world food production could be lost by 2050 because of climate change, water scarcity and environmental degradation. IPCC [2001] defines climate change as a long term change in the statistics of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. According to Micheal (2006), climate change expresses itself as temperatures increase gradually, increased annual regime rainfall variability and greater frequency of extreme events such as droughts and floods. Kaitlin and Patterson [2013] stipulate that over one billion of people practice some form of subsistence livelihood and therefore climate change will impact these people to a greater extent than other groups. This is due to heightened reliance on natural resources and the environment for food production. Despite Africa’s insignificant contribution to climate change, it is most likely to be adversely affected by climate change implications. This is evident by the increasing famine reported in the tropical region which could have been the food basket of the continent Leliveld etal, (2013) as a result of drastic shifts in seasons and seasonal characters experienced throughout the globe due to changes in air temperatures and rainfall patterns. Agriculture is the most important sector of the Uganda’s economy employing 80% of the workforce which makes food availability not a major problem but the fact that food access and utilization are inadequate in many locations has exacerbated high food prices and insecurity (WFP, 2015) especially in marginalized communities such as the Batwa Pygmies. IHACC [2010] research program stresses that climate change has a greater impact on indigenous populations world over and thus the research targets Batwa pygmies of South Western Uganda who are among the marginalized populations in the world. The Batwa are indigenous to the equatorial rainforest of central Africa region already experiencing changing temperature and precipitation patterns therefore predicted to face a heavy burden in future [IHACC, 2010]. Lewnard, et al [2013], stress that with monetary poverty, coerced migration from their ancestral forest home to agrarian communities or settlements, the Batwa experience constrained coping during frequent episodes of famine Lewnard, et al (2013). The research is of importance since it aims at exploring the changing climate impacts on food security among the Batwa marginalized people and adaptation measures to adopt by policy makers and communities to meet sustainable development.

2.0 Statement of the Problem

Since their eviction from the forests about two decades when Bwindi impenetrable forest was turned into a National Park, the Batwa hunter-gatherers have been trying to cope with and adapt to the agrarian communities outside their ancestral grounds. However such incorporation faces loopholes of adapting from wandering to settled agricultural communities given the changing climate amidst limited land, insufficient cultivating skills and hampered diversified sources of food including market-based access. The research will investigate the implication of the changing climate to food security among Batwa communities with greater emphasis on the indicators of changing climate in Kanungu District, current food security status amongst Batwa communities, future food security and strategies for enhancing food security in a changing climate and suggesting policy recommendations to undertake while ensuring food security in a changing climate.

3.0 Objectives of the study

(i) To identify the indicators of changing climate in Kanungu.
(ii) To assess the current food security status amongst Batwa communities.
(iii) To analyze future food security and strategies for enhancing food security in a changing climate.
(iv) To suggest policy recommendations to be undertaken on how to enhance food security in a changing climate.

4.0 Scope of the Study

The study was carried out in Kanungu district bordered by Rukungiri, Kabale, Kisoro, Democratic Republic of Congo in the North and East, Southeast, Southwest and West respectively. The district is found in South Western Uganda and predominantly practice agriculture due to the fertility of soils and favorable climate. The main focus of the study will be on Food Security among Batwa in a changing climate and emphasis will be put on availability and access to land, perception on whether local climate is changing or not, crops grown, level of consumption of varied types of food, strategies in place to ensure food security, market-based access to food, level of production and future food security status among communities, degree of vulnerability and mitigation and also measures on how to enhance food security in a changing climate.

5.0 Justification of the Study

The researcher had an interest in the topic concerning food security among Batwa in a changing climate because given the global climate change phenomenon, indigenous communities especially those dependant on rain fed agriculture will be the most affected as far as adaptation to change is concerned. The need to ensure food security calls for intervention measures aiming at enhancing resilience among vulnerable communities whose food sufficiency and supply will be drastically affected. This therefore pose a demand to analyze the current food security status among Batwa, assess future food security , scale down strategies to ensure food security in terms of availability, access , availability and consumption of food with policy recommendations on how in enhance food security in a changing climate.

Food insecurity among Batwa indigenous communities is a problem since it costs their labor productivity efficiency, nutrition, incomes and above all the development of Uganda as a country.

6.0 Methodology

The study mainly focused on secondary data sources with data already in existence. Data collected by Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) in 2013 was used to derive statistical data about a number of variables in the study. Additional fieldwork was also conducted by the researcher to back up and verify the accuracy and reliability of the secondary data. The researcher also supplemented secondary data with a fieldwork visit intending to interview Batwa communities and an interview guide was used as an additional data gathering instrument and an IHAAC project ground surveyor was used as an interpreter. This was done purposefully to elicit information from Batwa communities regarding the study problem and thus a focus group Interview schedule was organized at Mukongoro so that first hand information is got from the study communities as the secondary source of data and an interview guide to follow while gathering information will be drafted in line with the objectives of the study.

Secondary data from available literature was correlated with the additional fieldwork data codified and translated into statistical data to clearly generate both quantitative and qualitative data. The researcher further used the IHACC project data in Excel sheets format to derive quantitative data in form of figures and tables generated statistically to present information about different aspects of the study

6.1 Study Area

The study area was situated in South Western Uganda limited to Batwa communities adjacent to Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and Democratic Republic of Congo border. The study was carried out on 11 Batwa settlements with great limitation to Kanungu district and an additional focus group interview at Mukongoro. The district has a reasonable number of Batwa Pygmies with great experience concerning food security and the changing climate.

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Figure 3.1: Sketch map showing the study area with 10 Batwa settlements in Kanungu district. Lwasa et al, 2013

7.0 Findings and results of the study

7.1 Demographic characteristics of the study population.

Under this sub-section, the study sought to establish the background information concerning the respondents and how these influenced this study. This information was sought on key variables such as the age of the respondents, the gender of the respondents, the level of education of the respondents, the occupation of the respondents as well as occupational capacity. The findings from these variables are presented as follows;

7.1.1 Gender of Respondents

Table 4.1: Gender of Respondents

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The study was gender sensitive in that it included both male and female individuals as depicted from Table 4.1 above. During the study 15.6% of the respondents were males and 80.7% were females for household food preparation surveys. Such a result portray that the largest percentage of Batwa in charge of household food preparations are women. The study also acknowledges that at some point men also engage in household food preparation as they are represented by a reasonable percentage. Data collected from individual Batwa people also prove that 48.3% of the study population were male and 51.5% were female a manifestation that gender was an issue that was catered for with sincerity during the study.

7.1.2 Age Brackets

The study established the age range of the respondents and results portray categorized ages of respondents in charge of household food preparation among Batwa communities whereby 8% of the respondents ranged between 13-23 years, 37% between 24-35 years, 24% between 36-47 years, 19% between 48-59 years and 12% ≥ 60 years. This manifests that individuals ranging between 13-≥ 60 years of age are in charge of food preparation among Batwa households.

Further still age groups of individuals among Batwa communities that were interviewed during the study manifest 2.9% below the age of 1 year, 22.6% ranged between 1-5 years, 20.9% between 6-12 years, 20.2% between 13-23 years, 15.2% between 24-35 years, 8.2% between 36-47 years, 5% between 48-59 years, 4.3% ≥ than 60.

7.1.3 Level of Education Attained

The education level of respondents during the study showed that 44% had no formal schooling, 1% had no formal education but can read and write, 35% attained nursery school, 2% primary incomplete, 1% primary complete. This implies that much of the study population are illitrates and those who can do so had acquired elementary primary education. There exist no manifestations of secondary or tertiary education and thus awareness in better farming methods to improve food production among Batwa communities is minimal.

7.1.4 Status of Employment

The study also found out the current status of employment of respondents in order to relate them to the skills and values acquired at Food security and how this finally affects community development. The findings clearly showed that 9.7% of the respondents had paid employment, 8.4% self-employed, 0.5% non-paid employment, 80.7% unemployed and 0.2% unsure about their employment status. This implies that the largest proportion of the respondents is unemployed and therefore and have a poor income per capita towards maintaining household sustainability.

7.1.5 Employment Type among Batwa Communities

Typology of employment among Batwa Communities in the study indicate that 5.7% have full time employment, 11% part timing 0.7% seasonally employed, 0.3% with ad-hoc or odd jobs, 0.5% unsure and the interviewer did not interview 81.8% of the respondents. This implies that very few of the Batwa have access to employment payable for enough finances to sustain their livelihood which renders many of them to be impoverished with wide spread poverty.


Excerpt out of 33 pages


Food Security among Batwa in a Changing Climate in Kanungu District
Makerere University  (Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Climatic Sciences)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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food, security, batwa, changing, climate, kanungu, district
Quote paper
Hakimu Sseviiri (Author), 2015, Food Security among Batwa in a Changing Climate in Kanungu District, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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