Thuku Linet Njeri is a nutritionist by profession with a BSc in Food science Nutrition and Dietetics and an MSc in Applied Human Nutrition both from the University of Nairobi. She is registered with the Kenya Nutritionist and Dietetics Institute a regulatory body of nutritionists and dieticians in Kenya.
She is highly self-driven and can work well in a team set-up. With the knowledge acquired from the University, she endeavors to be of help to the local and global community.
Achieving dietary diversity in Arid and Semi-Arid lands is a big challenge due to the weather patterns experienced in this climatic zone. The low amounts of rainfall and high temperature levels negatively affect food production as well as livestock in these areas. Kitchen gardens are known to directly improve food security at household levels by ensuring access to nutritious and diversified foods; information on the role they play in Arid and Semi-arid lands is scanty. A comparative study was conducted between August and September 2019 to determine dietary diversity among 98 practicing and 221 non-practicing households. Data entry and analysis were performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 and Microsoft excel. Results showed that kitchen garden practicing and non-practicing households had similar characteristics in age, sex, main occupation, and type of contribution to household (p >0.05) but differed significantly (p <0.05) in level of education and gender of the household head. The study showed significant difference (p<0.05) in the dietary diversity scores between the two groups. Kitchen gardening practicing households had a more diversified diet compared to the non-practicing households. This could be contributed by the fact that all the households that practiced kitchen gardening had planted more than one type of vegetable while majority of the participants, 71%, had more than two types of vegetables. Out of all the four indicators of sustainability used in the study, source of water was the biggest setback faced. In conclusion, kitchen gardens have an influence on dietary diversity of households.
Professor Wambui Kogi-Makau
Dr George Abong