Sustaining livelihoods under a changing climate: the case of urban agriculture in Lusaka, Zambia
With rapidly deteriorating national and local economies, many urban dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are increasingly resorting to a wide range of informal sector activities to ameliorate food insecurity and generate household income. Among these activities is urban agriculture (UA), which is used both as a source of basic foodstuffs and income generation to enable access to a wide range of goods and services. These may include health care, education, clothing, food and housing. Despite its significance and contribution to the urban household food basket, UA in many SSA cities has not been integrated into urban development and planning policy. In addition to the absence of a supportive local government policy, over the last two decades UA has come under increasing pressure from extreme weather related events such as droughts and flooding. Drawing upon recent field-based research in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, the paper examines the relationships between UA and extreme weather conditions, and the impact on the livelihood options of urban poor. The research has wider relevance in the context of evolving strategies for achieving sustainable urban livelihoods, poverty reduction and food security in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
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Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (October)
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