Climate change could potentially interrupt progress toward a world without hunger. Climate change leads to food insecurity and food insecurity leads to hunger, malnutrition, poverty, death and Women play important role in ensuring household food security. However, there is limited information on the climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women. The aim of the study was to examine the climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State. Specifically, the study sought to determine the basic characteristics and socioeconomic status of the women, assess the trends of climate change in the study area, assess the household food security status, assess anthropometric status of women using weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and body mass index, evaluate the association between climate change and household food security status and to establish the relationship between household food security and the anthropometric status of the women in Isuikwuato LGA. Cross- sectional study design was used for the study. The population of the study consisted of women in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State and a sample size of 397 was calculated using Slovins formula. Frequencies and percentages were used to compute data on socio economic characteristics. Relationship between household food security and anthropometric status of women were analyzed using regression. Pearson correlation analysis was used to ascertain the relationship between food security and climatic change. A p-value of less than 0.05 was accepted as statistically significant. The result indicated that 33% were within the young age of 38-47 years. The result indicated that 50% of the women were married. The result on food security indicated that the problems of food security are due to finance, resources and stability. The result on food security status showed that Majority (76%) of the households were food insecure while 24% were food secure. Among the food insecurity of households, 52% were low food insecure, 34% were moderate while 14% were found to be severely food insecurity. The result also reveals that significant relationship exist between the food security status and climatic change. An increase in climate change leads to decrease in food security or food insecure. The result shows that there is statistically significant relationship between household food security and anthropometric status of women. It implies that an increase in household food security status will lead to increase in BMI and vice versa. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that Governments and agencies should educate and train women farmers, give them access to land by way of a legislation to recognize their rights and provide them with free medical services.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents v
List of Tables viii
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Statement of the Problem 6
1.2 Objectives of the Study 7
1.3 Significance of the Study 8
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 10
2.1 Conceptual Framework 10
2.1.1 Climate Change 10
2.1.2 Food security 11
22.214.171.124 Aspects of Food Security 12
2.2 An Overview of Climate Change in Nigeria 22
2.2.1 Causes of Climate Change in Nigeria 23
2.2.2 Climate change and challenges of food security
and agricultural productivity 25
2.2.3 Challenges of Flood Disaster on Food Security 29
2.3 Food Patterns of Women 30
2.3.1. Factors that influence food patterns of women 31
2.4 Anthropometry 38
2.4.1 Height 39
2.4.2 Weight 40
2.4.3 Body Mass Index 41
2.4.4 Waist circumference 41
2.4.5 Hip circumference 42
2.4.6 Waist to Hip Ratio 42
2.5 Relationship of Anthropometry in Malnutrition 43
CHAPTER 3: MATERIALS AND METHODS 46
3.1 Study Design 46
3.2 Area of Study 46
3.3 Population of the Study 47
3.4 Sampling and Sampling Technique 47
3.4.1 Sample Size Determination 47
3.4.2 Sampling Procedure 48
3.5 Preliminary Activities 48
3.5.1 Preliminary visits 48
3.5.2 Informed Consent 49
3.6 Data Collection 49
3.6.1 Questionnaire Administration 49
3.6.2 Interview 49
3.6.3 Anthropometric Measurement 50
3.6.4 Food Security Status 51
3.6.5 Trends in climate change 52
3.7 Data Analysis 53
3.8 Statistical Analysis 54
CHAPTER 4: RESULT DISCUSSION 55
4.1 Basic characteristics and socio-economic status of the women 55
4.2 Trends of climate change in the study area 62
4.3 Household food security status 67
4.4 Anthropometric status of the women 70
4.5 Relationship between food security status and climatic change 72
4.6 Relationship between household food security and the anthropometric status of the women in Isuikwuato LGA 73
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 75
5.1 Conclusion 75
5.2 Recommendations 75
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1a: Socio Economic Status of the Women 58
Table 4.1b: Continuation Socio Economic Status of the Women 69
Table 4.1c: Continuation Socio Economic Status of the Women 60
Table 4.2a: Trends of Climate Change in the Study Area 64
Table 4.2b: Effect of this Change on the Following Food Items 65
Table 4.3a: Household Food Security Status 68
Table 4.3b; Overall Food Security Status 69
Table 4.4a Anthropometric status of the Women 70
Table 4.5: Pearson correlation analysis showing the relationship between food security status and climatic change 72
Table 4.6: Regression analyses showing the Relationship between household food security and anthropometric status of women 73
Climate change could potentially interrupt progress toward a world without hunger. Climate refers to the characteristic’s conditions of the earth’s lower surface atmosphere at a specific location while weather refers to the day to day fluctuation in this condition at the same location (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2014). Mean global temperature have been increasing since about 1850 mainly due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (2008). The main causes are burning of fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) to meet increasing energy demand and the spread of intensive agriculture to meet increasing food demand, which is often accompanied by deforestation. These changes will have serious impact on the four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food system stability (FAO, 2008). Effects are already being felt in the markets and are likely to be particularly significant in rural communities where crops fail and yields decline. This will disrupt supply chain, market price increase, assets will be lost, purchasing power falls and these communities will be unable to cope. Such decline or changes bring about uncertainties in the sustainability of agriculture and agro-allied ventures (Urama and Ozor, 2011).
Climate change has been implicated to have significant impacts on global and regional food production, particularly among the common staple food crops. The possible impacts of climate change on food security have tended to be viewed with most concern because rain fed agriculture is still the primary source of food and income in most rural communities in Nigeria. The report from International Labour Organization (ILO) (2011) stated that agriculture is important for food security in two ways: it produces the food people eat, and perhaps even more important, it provides the primary sources of livelihood for 75% of Nigerian total work force. Also, in heavily populated countries of Asia, it ranges from 40 to 50%, and in some sub-Saharan Africa, two third of the working population are still making their living from agriculture.
There is no gainsaying that every threat to the environment affects human existence since there is a very close link between health and environment. Agriculture depends on, and affects the environment; availability of food depends on viable agricultural activities and health depends on good nutrition which is an outcome of bountiful food production through effective agricultural activity. Since national economic development is anchored on these (agriculture, environment, health and nutrition) it calls for concerted efforts to ensure sustainable management (Food Security Magazine, 2012).
Anyadike (2009) observed that climate change has been a major natural challenge facing agriculture production mainly arising from its impact on grassland and productivity. Heat stress suffered by animals will reduce the rate of animal feed intake and result in poor growth performance (Rowlinson, 2008). Lack of water and increased frequency of drought in certain countries will lead to loss of resources. Consequently, as exemplified by many African countries, existing food insecurity and conflict over scarce resources will be exacerbated (Calvosa et al., 2009). Ozor (2009) stated that livestock production systems in Nigeria would be vulnerable to climate change in respect of anticipated decrease in rainfall in the Sudan-sahelian zone and consequent reduction in the available pastureland. This is to say that further changes in rainfall and temperature will affect livestock production as well as availability of animal species. Ozor and Nnaji (2010) stated that mitigation is necessary to reface the rate and magnitude of climate change and adaptation is essential to reduce the damages from climate change that cannot be avoided. According to Dixon (2013) adaptation is the adjustment in practices or structures in response to projected or actual change in climate change, with the goal of maintaining the capacity to deal with current and future change. The fact that agriculture is practiced across a broad range of climate and environmental conditions makes it necessary for the country to develop an array of adaptation options that will meet the different conditions of the different ecological location of the nation and that will be gender sensitive. The impact of climate change will be felt by countries, communities and people differently based on the extent of their vulnerability (Ozor, 2009). Women are particularly growing to be more vulnerable not because of their sex but because of the social, cultural and economic roles they perform (Chah et al.,2009). This is to say that varying climate has varying effects on crops and anthropometric status of women.
Anthropometry encompasses a variety of human body measurements, such as weight, height, and size, including skin fold thicknesses, circumferences, and is a basic element used in assessing nutritional status in women (Castillo-Martínez, 2012). Anthropometric measurements are used to construct indices for malnutrition that are then compared to reference values or standards (Castillo-Martínez, 2012). Anthropometry is preferred to other methods particularly dietary methods because of its relative cheapness, portability of equipment, high accuracy and precision and relatively low level of training required (Geissler and Powers, 2005). Various anthropometric measurements are height, weight, skin fold thickness, head circumference, mid upper arm circumference and chest circumference (Walters, 2012). Bernstein and Munoz (2016) asserted that height and weight are well recognized anthropometrics most commonly used.
According to FAO (2003) food security is a situation that exists when all people at all times have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Under this definition, food security consists of having, on an individual level, the food one needs and wants. It is a condition in which all people have access at all times to enough food of an adequate nutritional quality for a healthy and active life (Adebayo, 2010). Household food security depends on a nutritionally adequate and safe food supply nationally, at the household level and for each individual, a fair degree of stability in the food availability to the household both during the year and from year to year and access of each family member to the sufficient food to meet nutritional requirements (Sizer and Whitney, 2003). Food security is a situation that exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (FAO,2013).This has to do with nutrition security which is concerned with the utilization of the food obtained by a household as well as access to food which is an aspect of food security. A household achieves nutrition security when it has secure access to food coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health and services and knowledgeable care to ensure a healthy life for all household members (Benson, 2008). The lack of nutrition security has led to different forms of malnutrition especially among women.
Agriculture is the main source of food and industrial raw materials in Nigeria. It is predominantly a rain fed system and hence vulnerable to climate changes (Ibrahim et al., 2010). Climate change and variability is a major threat to food security in many parts of the country including Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State which are largely dependent on rain fed and labour intensive agricultural production. Few studies have investigated climate change and household food security in Abia state. However, none of these scholars examine the climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State. Hence the need of this study to fill this knowledge gap.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Food is a basic necessity of life. Its importance is seen in the fact that it is a basic means of sustenance and an adequate food intake, in terms of quantity and quality, is a key for healthy and productive life (Asomugha et al., 2017). Food security is an essential element of overall well-being. Increasingly, in the last decade, attention has been focused on means of eliminating food insecurity and hunger worldwide. The idea of food security was presented for the first time in the World Food Conference in 1974 and viewed solely from the perspective of having adequate availability of food on a national scale. Today it is a condition in which all people have access at all times to enough food of an adequate nutritional quality for a healthy and active life (Adebayo, 2010).
In Nigeria, the percentage of food insecure households was reported to be 18% in 2006 and 40% in 2015 (Sanusi et al., 2016). Ayodeji (2010) asserted that the number of hungry people in the country is over 53 million, which is about 30% of the country’s total population of roughly 160 million and about 52% of people in Nigeria live below the poverty line. However, it has recently been estimated that the prevalence of women obesity is increasing not only in developed countries but also in some developing countries in which malnutrition used to be the major nutritional disorder (Ayodeji, 2010).
Food security is adversely affected and global warming (climate change) leads to sea-level rise with its attendant consequences, and includes fiercer weather, increased frequency and intensity of storms, floods, hurricanes, droughts, increased frequency of fires, poverty, malnutrition and series of health and socio-economic consequences (Von-Braun et al, 2008). Evidence has shown that climate change is already affecting crop yields in many countries including Nigeria and this is particularly true in low income countries where climate is primarily determinant of agricultural productivity and adaptive capacities are low (Apata, 2010). For Nigeria to achieve household food security, the effect of climate change on agricultural productivity needs to be studied. Therefore, this study is designed to examine climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study was to examine climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State. The specific objectives of the study are to:
1. Determine the basic characteristics and socioeconomic status of the women.
2. Assess the trends of climate change in the study area.
3. Assess the household food security status.
4. Assess anthropometric status of women using weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and body mass index.
5. Evaluate the association between climate change and household food security status.
6. Establish the relationship between household food security and the anthropometric status of the women in Isuikwuato LGA.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of the study will be beneficial to students, policy makers, women, international agencies and researchers.
The findings of the study will help the students to gain more knowledge in the subject matter. Students of Human Nutrition and other related fields of study will be motivated by the result of this study to engage more on studies pertaining to climate change, household food security and anthropometric status of women.
The research findings would be of enormous significance to policy makers in Nigeria as the data would form baseline information for aggressive intervention on prevention and control of climate change on food security.
The findings of this study will be of help to women. Women play a major role in determining what their families eat. Therefore, the results of this study could be used to design intervention programmes for women and the desired outcome would eventually be transmitted to other members of the family. Nutritional programmes aimed at alleviating malnutrition among women require preliminary studies such as this. The results of this study would therefore provide necessary information to spur nutritionists and health workers into embarking on intervention programmes for women in Abia State to curb the vicious cycle of malnutrition between generations.
Findings from the study would also draw the attention of national and international agencies and bodies to the growing need to control climate change for food security. The results would also stimulate further research in other areas of nutritional deficiencies among women.
Finally, the much needed data on household food security and anthropometric status of women would be made available and properly documented for use by future researchers. This would go a long way to bridge the gap caused by paucity of data in this area.
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