Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Female-Headed Households ‘Highest’ In Banjul, Jarra

The 2011 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) is based on national representative sample survey to update the knowledge base on food security and vulnerability at the household level in The Gambia.
It covers both the urban and rural areas, and also takes into account the recent natural economic shocks experienced by the population.
The analysis meantime discovered that the capital Banjul and Jarra West in the Lower River Region have the highest number of female householders.

A total of 2,592 households were said to have been interviewed in 336 communities. That households were asked questions regarding food consumption (food frequency and dietary diversity), income and expensive,coping strategies, assets and livelihoods, seasonality of food security and employment, including migration patterns.
It was disclosed also that in addition, community interviews were carried in eight randomly selected communities to obtain contextual information about access to health and sanitation services like infrastructure, shelter, roads, markets and recent shocks and coping mechanisms.
The current CFSVA found that at the national level, about 145,119 persons- (based on 2003 population estimates)- are food insecure, or vulnerable to food insecurity representing approximately 11 percent of the total population of the country.
The 2011 survey has some interesting readings about all areas surveyed, which we hope to highlight in our subsequent edition; but for now we focusing on the issue of female-headed households in the country.
The CFSVA report, prepared by World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with the Gambia Government and the European Union (EU), was made available to reporters who attended the two days workshop organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA), from 12-13 August, 2011, at Paradise Suites.
The survey has also found out that female-headed households are slightly more prone to food insecurity; and that 13 percent of these households are found to be food insecure compared to 10 percent of male-headed households.
At the national level, approximately 14.9 percent of households were found to be headed by women.
The proportion of female heading households was highest in Banjul, registering 32.8 percent, as per the survey; while the Lower River Region’s area called Jarra West has 25.7 percent of female-headed households.
As also cautioned by the survey report, households with large numbers of dependants are more proned to food insecurity.
According to the last population census, which was in 2003, the average household size in The Gambia is 8.3.
Approximately 76 percent of the households surveyed during the 2011 CFSVA were found to have eight or more household members.
This pattern, it noted, was consistent across all the strata with little variation, except for Kiang and Jarra West where, the report added, the proportion of households with 8 or more members was slightly lower than the national average (65 % and 61 %, respectively).
The CFSVA also put the percentage of dependants to total household members (dependency rate) at 58.9 percent.
At least, 25 percent of households reported a high dependency rate (more than 70%).
Turning on Lower Nuimi and North Bank West strata, the proportion of households with high dependency was the highest, approximately 40 percent.
Approximately 40 percent food insecure households were found to have high dependency rate as opposed to 30 percent of food secure households.

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