Research News

Salome Bukachi

Prof Salome  Bukachi

Prof Salome Bukachi together with her University of Oxford collaborator Dr. Alexandra Alvergne have been awarded an AfOx Research Development Award (AfOx ReDA) to address, “Food safety in households with young children and its impact on their nutritional and health status in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya.”

Follow this link for more Details of the Award:,I%C2%A0School%20of%20Anthropology%20and%20Museum%20Ethnography

Drivers of demand for animal-source foods in low-income informal settlements in Dagoretti Sub-county, Nairobi, Kenya

Funders:Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Program.


University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Salome Bukachi - Collaborating Principal Investigator

Dr.Mariah Ngutu – Research Associate

Ann Muthiru- Master’s student

Collaborating institutions

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, UK

International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya


The overall aim of this research is to identify the drivers of animal-source foods (ASFs) consumption choice of nutritionally vulnerable urban household members in Nairobi and establish their relative importance in order to contribute to the implementation of sustainable food systems interventions. The project has the following objectives:

  1. Estimate the effect of supply side characteristics (ASF availability, packaging and price) on ASF household purchase by collecting information from the retailers from whom households purchase;
  2. Investigate the effect of demand side factors on ASF consumption, including household (income, education, ethnicity, religion) and household members’ characteristics (age, gender, taste, beliefs, preferences, decision-making power)
  3. Measure spouses’ bargaining power and determine and model preferences for ASF of spouses in the lab;
  4. Assess whether choice drivers and determinants of consumption of different ASF are associated with dietary and nutrition outcomes in regression models;
  5. Complement quantitative analyses with focus group discussions (FGD) and Key informant interviews (KII) to understand the how and why behind the ASF consumption drivers, including traditional norms and beliefs and intra-household dynamics;
  6. Design intervention targeting households and/or livestock value chains to optimize ASF consumption by the poorest on the basis of these findings and secure further funding to measure the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in future research.







Funder: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) & Bill & Melinda Gates under the Livestock Vaccine Innovative Funds(LVIF) Projects


University of Nairobi-IAGAS

            Prof. Salome Bukachi- Principal Investigator

            Dr. Dalmas Omia- Researcher and PI alternate, UoN

            Dr. Mariah Ngutu-Researcher

Collaborating institutions:

Co-operative University of Kenya- CUK

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation-KALRO


Context and rationale: Rural women in sub-Saharan Africa derive substantial livelihoods from livestock. However, few studies have focused on barriers they face to improve their incomes, household nutrition and overall economic wellbeing. Smallholder livestock farmers are hindered in vaccine acquisition and use due to low levels of awareness, high acquisition costs, accessibility, and unequal gender relations at household level. This study seeks to: (i) increase women’s participation in livestock vaccine distribution chain, and (ii) transform gender, social and cultural norms and practices to reduce barriers to women’s participation. We focus on the poultry and small ruminant platforms, which are important for women’s economic empowerment through incremental accumulation of resources which, in turn, would allow them to purchase and own small ruminants. This research project seeks to enhance the distribution and delivery systems for Newcastle (ND) and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) among smallholder women farmers, through (i) increasing women’s participation in livestock vaccine distribution chain, and (ii) transforming gender, social and cultural norms and practices to reduce barriers to women’s participation. The study objectives are:

  1. To establish the vaccine knowledge among women and how it affects their ability to use and benefit from vaccines
  2. To explore the socio-cultural, economic and technical barriers in access to ND and PPR vaccines.
  3. To examine norms that hinder women from owning and using livestock, participating in and benefiting from the livestock vaccines value chain, and utilizing vaccines to improve the productivity of their livestock.
  4. To map actors who influence norms and practices that affect women’s engagement.



Funder: REACH programme: the UK Department for International Development (DFID) (Aries Code 201880).

Investigators: Prof. Salome Bukachi-Principal Investigator

                       Dr. Dalmas Omia-Researcher

                       Dr. Mariah Ngutu- Researcher

Collaborating Institution: University of Oxford, UK.



Context and rationale: While researchers, for instance, Boateng et al., (2017), Tsai et al., (2016) and Stevenson et al., (2016) have attempted to create more comprehensive metrics to measure household water insecurity, their approaches largely concentrate on the physical component of household water insecurity namely; water quality, water quantity, the sources and the reliability of these water sources including affordability of market-sourced water. This has seen the use of socio-ecological systems, socio-hydrology, human capabilities and relational frameworks in analysis of household water insecurity. While sound in producing water insecurity metrics, the approaches have failed to account/document the socio-cultural dynamics and political institutions and processes that contribute to household water insecurity.

Therefore, this study intends to scope beyond the entitlements and human capabilities approaches in analysing household water insecurity to assessing the socio-cultural dynamics and political institutions (both formal and informal) and processes as dimensions of househpold water insecurity. Further, the study will undertake a gender-sensitive analysis (needs, opportunities for women, youths and persons with disability) on water governance. As such, the overarching aim of this study is to conduct a gender of vulnerability and resilience to household water insecurity in Kitui County, Kenya. To achieve this, the study set to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the key institutions (including the actors and incentives) involved in water governance in Kitui County?
  2. What is the level of Kitui County Government’s preparedness and capacity to respond to household water insecurity in the face of climate variability? How gender sensitive are these institutional-based approaches?
  3. What are the social and cultural dimensions of household water insecurity (water sources, use and access and regulations);
  4. What are the gender dynamics in men’s and women’s roles in water dependent tasks and how are these roles differentially impacted by household water insecurity? What gendered implications for resilience building do these portend for the community?