Nourishing livelihoods: recognising and supporting food vendors in Nairobi’s informal settlements

Working paper
, 48 pages
PDF (1.22 MB)
Published: January 2016
Human Settlements Working Paper
ISBN: 9781784312763
Product code:10762IIED

Vendors in African informal settlements play vital but overlooked roles in alleviating food insecurity. Many vendors are women selling affordable food to their fellow residents.

Using participatory research, we offer a gender-sensitive analysis of how food vending intersects with environmental hazards, insecurity, and governmental neglect in Nairobi’s informal settlements. We argue that improving food security must form part of a wider set of upgrading initiatives to promote jobs, community safety, and political empowerment. Food vendors in informal settlements are a key entry-point for such interventions. By nourishing and recognising these livelihoods, vendors can lead the way towards equitable food systems.