The use of urban plant resources for health and food security in Kampala, Uganda
This PhD dissertation (PDF) of Eefke Maria Mollee from Bangor University aims to provide an understanding of the current and potential contribution of urban plant resources to human wellbeing (with a focus on food security) in Kampala, Uganda. With some of the highest urbanization rates in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa faces serious challenges in providing sufficient, healthy and affordable foods for its growing urban populations. Urban biodiversity can provide people with healthy food products in addition to other ecosystem services. This dissertation explores two urban landscape options: homegardens and wild collection. A total of 270 plant species were identified of which 248 different food plants were considered useful. Comparisons with secondary data suggests that the children included in this study with access to homegardens have better nutritional status then urban children in Uganda overall. Moreover 5% of the food items consumed during the recall was derived from the homegardens and 33% of the food items came from neighbours or friends. In addition, half of the respondents reported collecting wild plants during the six months preceding the interview. The findings indicate that urban homegardens and wild space can play an important role in human wellbeing. It is important to incorporate biodiversity and green structures in urban landscape designs to create holistic sustainable cities. Highly valuable (and nutritious) plant species should be selected and promoted. Innovative practices should be developed and tested to lift the current barriers and challenges that keep people from growing them. The overall value of gardens and green space should be acknowledged.