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University of Ghana (2016)

The Impact Of Climate Change On Food And Nutrition Security In The Bongo District Of The Upper East Region Of Ghana

Atitsogbey, P.

Titre : The Impact Of Climate Change On Food And Nutrition Security In The Bongo District Of The Upper East Region Of Ghana

Auteur : Atitsogbey, P.

Université de soutenance : University of Ghana

Grade : MPHIL NUTRITION 2016

Résumé
Introduction : Among the most substantial impact of climate change is its potential to escalate food insecurity and malnutrition. The adverse impact of climate change will be most felt by the poor and the highly vulnerable which includes women, children and the aged in the neglected areas. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of climate change on food and nutrition security of households with emphasis on women and children below five years of age in the Bongo district of the Upper East region of Ghana. Methodology : A cross-sectional survey was conducted using mixed methods in four purposively selected farming communities (Anaafobiisi, Bogrigo, Gurigo and Gowrie) in the Bongo district of the Upper East region of Ghana. A sample size of 246 mother-child pairs (children below five years of age) were used in the study. Stratified simple random sampling was used in selecting 62 households each in Anaafobiisi and Bogrigo and 61 households in Gurigo and Gowrie. Data was collected on socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, awareness of climate change, dietary information (24-hour recall), coping strategies, food preservation and household food security. Anthropometric data of both mothers and children were also collected as well as haemoglobin level of participants. Four focus group discussions were held, one in each community and thirteen key informants’ interviews involving 8 farmers, 4 agriculture extension officers and a meteorologist were also conducted. Data on rainfall and temperature in the district was collected from the Ghana Meteorological service for a 30 years period. Crop yields data over a period of 21 years in the district was also collected from Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA). Results : The research revealed that rainfall in the Bongo district has been decreasing at - 0.3mm per annum and maximum temperature has been increasing at 0.005°C. About 62.6% of the participants were aware of climate change in their communities but more than a quarter (31.3%) did not know what the causes of climate change were. The most frequent coping strategy adopted by majority (89.4%) was reduction in quality and quantity of food consumed. There was a significance difference (P = 0.001) between some specific crops (millet, maize, rice, sweet potatoes) which were being consumed less due to effect of climate change and how participants thought these crops were being affected by climate change. Almost all (97.2%) of the households were food insecure Participants who reported decrease in rainfall were more likely to be food insecure (OR= 3.96 ; CI= 0.56 – 27.81). The proportion of children under five years who were stunted, underweight, and wasted were 42.3%, 24.4%, and 17.5% respectively. About 24% of the women were overweight, 9% were obese and 5% were underweight. Women who reported to have experienced decrease in rainfall were more likely to be underweight (OR = 1.26 ; CI=1.02-1.56) or overweight (OR =1.31 ; CI= and 1.13-1.52). The prevalence of anaemia among the women and children was 18.7% and 82.8% respectively. Conclusion : More than half (62.6%) of the study participants were aware of climate change in the district. The coping strategy employed by the majority was reduction in the quality and quantity of diet during food shortage periods. Almost all the households were food insecure and sun drying was the food preservation method used by 52.3%. There was high level of stunting, wasting and underweight among the children under five years of age and maternal body mass index was emerging to be high. Prevalence of anaemia among the children was also high. There is the need to intensify climate resistant agriculture technology such as irrigation methods to offset the negative impact of climate change on food security in the district. Also timely and appropriate nutrition intervention programmes aimed at reducing malnutrition and anaemia among children below five years of age in the Bongo District should be instituted.

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