Determinants of Vulnerability to Livelihood Insecurity at Household Level: Evidence from Maphutseng, Lesotho.
AbstractThis study investigated the major factors that influence the vulnerability of a household to food insecurity in the context of a rural community in Mohale’s Hoek. The study also traced the changes in the level of vulnerability of households to poverty between 2009 and 2013. Primary data was collected through the Household Vulnerability Index (HVI) survey of 2581 households in 2009 and 325 randomly sampled households in 2013. The Household Vulnerability Index developed by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) was used to quantify the household vulnerability of household based on the capital assets of the Sustainable Livelihood Framework: social assets, physical assets, financial assets, natural assets and human assets. An ordinal regression was estimated for the categories of vulnerability based on the HVI score: Low vulnerability, Moderate vulnerability and High Vulnerability. The results indicate that the proportion of households with a high vulnerability have increased by 7.8 percent between 2009 and 2013. Parameter estimates of the ordinal regression model identify highly vulnerable households as household as predominantly comprising of; (i) female headed households where the household head is of an elderly age, (ii) where the household has at most two meals a day which will be mainly wild fruits and inter-family food transfers, and (iii) those with limited land for cropping of staple foods. There is an urgent need to develop policies that are aimed at directly improve the livelihood of households in poverty stricken districts such Maphutesng as well as make the households more resilient to shocks.
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