Secret Kenyan Porridge Recipe Saving Children’s Lives

A road signage highlighting Iten area in the vast Kerio Valley.
  • Women in Kenya’s Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet County have had a reason to rejoice over the last year after a new porridge recipe reduced the infant mortality rate in the region to almost zero.

    A World Vision survey carried out in August 2019, revealed that 30% of children in the area under the age of 5 suffered from stunted growth.

    This was occasioned by severe malnutrition and ultimately death.

    Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. 

    A road signage highlighting Iten area in the vast Kerio Valley.

    This effect is because of long-term nutritional deprivation, and often results in delayed mental development.

    It was agreed that a localized solution was the forward leading World Vision JKUAT entomologist Dr Caroline Kipkoech to set up a greenhouse in the area to boost the variety of food in the region.

    However, her food of choice was not lettuce or french beans but rather an edible insect breeding set-up.

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    The edible insects include mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers.

    Once mature, the insects are dried and fused into the grounded millet and sorghum used in the preparation of the delicious porridge.

    Families in the valley have been feeding their children with the same and after a year, the results were staggering.

    “Many children have died as a result of diseases occasioned by malnourishment but since we began using the insect porridge, the scenario has tremendously changed,” Irene Kosgei a mother from the region revealed to the media.

    According to a report published by the Institute of Economics on April 9, 2018, on average, 11.4% of the children in Kenya are severely stunted. 

    This makes the latest reports from Kerio Valley even more crucial as it not only provides a local solution, but also opens up the possibility of a revenue-generating venture in breeding edible insects.

    A bag of dried crickets.
    A bag of dried crickets

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