Coping with poverty : A study of peasant households in Kithimu Location,Embu District
Nyaga, Robert Kivuti
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This paper studies the poverty status of people in Kithimu location, Embu District and the coping activities that the poor resort to. The study used primary data collected through administration of questionnaires to the sampled respondents. A pro bit model of poverty determination was estimated and the predicted values used as explanatory variables in the logit models of household and individual choice of coping strategies. In the poverty status model the probability of being poor declines with total land holding, literacy, ownership of formal business and with formal employment. Informal employment is a coping strategy and therefore does not necessarily reduce poverty. Occupational choice models show that, poverty induces the poor to choose informal businesses and subsistence farming as coping activities. Informal business is not only a coping activity but also a springboard to escaping poverty. The government can protect the environment from over exploitation by the poor, by providing infrastructural services, enhancing greater access to credit opportunities to the poor, and by providing basic education and health services. Special policies, especially those offering safety nets to the very poor, women and disabled are also called for.