How Wasted Food Fuels Kenya’s Food Crisis

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

In Nairobi County, families toss out heaps of food each year, around 100 kilograms per household, according to a recent report from the United Nations. Meanwhile, many Kenyans are hungry, especially after harsh weather affected farming across the country.

About two out of every ten people in Nairobi’s slums miss meals daily, while individuals in places like Kiambu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta, and Homa Bay throw food out at a high rate.

It’s not just in Kenya; in Egypt, for example, households in Qena town toss out a whopping 207 kilograms of food each year. Globally, fruits and vegetables are the most wasted, followed by wheat, meat, and dairy.

But why does this matter? Millions of people globally go hungry, while billions of meals are needlessly wasted. Food waste isn’t just harmful to people; it’s harmful to the environment, too. It adds to climate change and pollution and pumps out greenhouse gases.

Cutting down on food waste is good for the planet and vital for fighting hunger. The United Nations says that if countries team up to slash food waste, they can make a big dent in both problems. According to UNEP, food waste affects the developed and poverty-stricken countries.

So, why do we waste so much food? One reason is that we don’t always know what to do with leftovers. In rural areas, people often feed food scraps to animals or use them for composting. But in cities, food ends up in the trash instead.

UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Programme, is urging governments to step up and tackle food waste, as by working together, we can cut waste, fight hunger, and protect our planet. It’s a tough challenge, one we can’t afford to ignore.

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