The Magnitude of Poverty Among Female Headed Households in Yathui and Central Division, Machakos District
The focus of the study was establishment of the magnitude of poverty among female headed households in Yathui and Central Divisions of Machakos District. The study objectives were to determine poverty indicators, the level of poverty and how female headed households cope with poverty and famine in Yathui and Central division, Machakos district. The study was based on a sample of 80 female headed households and data was collected from five key informants, four focused group discussions, six case studies and secondary data. Stratified sampling was used to select the division of study namely; Yathui and Central divisions. On the other hand, systematic random sampling was used to select the units of observation. The findings showed that there were variations in terms of age, level of education and the number of dependants in a household. The study established that over 91% of the female heads earned less than one US dollar a day, meaning that the majority of the female heads experienced absolute poverty. Famine episodes were also high and over 80% had at one time gone without food. Based on the study findings, the researcher recommends that an effort should be made to cushion the female household heads in Machakos district from the effects of recurrent famine and poverty. Focus should be on building innovative, commercially viable and modem crop and livestock sector through support to female household heads and boosting off-farm activities including social capital and social networks in the rural economy, irrigation infrastructure for crop and livestock farming should also be promoted.
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