Kenya faces one of the worst droughts in decades and people move towards urban farming while food prices rise sharply, as seen in the footage filmed in Nairobi on Friday.
Robert Paul Githatu works as a casual labourer in the city centre. Githatu has been forced to convert his backyard into a small farm with goats and chickens due to the rise in food prices so he can receive milk and eggs.
“If you see the rain is expected to fall today, you rush to the farm and plant, but then there is no rain after several months. Climate change is hard on us, and it has made life in Nairobi extremely difficult,” said Githatu.
Pauline Njeri has been living in Nairobi for the past 15 years and has become an urban farmer due to unforeseen circumstances. She and her sister farm on the small plot of land behind their house. They grow kale and other green vegetables, which Njeri uses to feed her family and sells to neighbours for a small sum of money to meet her needs.
“The food in our community has become really expensive, especially because of this drought. That is why I started farming to provide food for my family and to sell to my neighbours, where I earn a small amount of money to help my family,” commented Njeri.
Urban food systems expert Stephen Otieno also confirms that urban farming is on the rise because of drought and the rise of global food prices.
“I think urban farming has been a phenomenon that has been growing over the years, and there has been more interest right now, especially with the rise in global food prices. If you look at the ravaging drought and if you take, for example, Nairobi, where about 80 percent of the food is actually coming from outside, then you do realise there is a need for people to grow more food,” he said.