Uganda not progressing on poverty, says survey
What you need to know:
The numbers have increased on account of unemployment and Covid-19 induced challenges
The percentage of Ugandans living in poverty has increased from 60 percent in 2017 to now 67 percent, a recent Afro barometer Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) scorecard shows.
Between 2012 and 2017, poverty increased in all of the country’s regions except in northern Uganda, where it fell from 43.7 percent to 32.5 percent.
However, in 1993, 56.4 percent of Ugandans were reported to be below the national poverty line. This later declined to 19.7 percent by 2013.
The numbers have since increased on account of unemployment and Covid-19 induced challenges.
The scorecard also shows that almost two in 10 people (17 percent) went without food many times or always, while only about four in 10 Ugandans (38 percent) reported to never have gone without food at least once in 2021.
A third of Ugandans (31 percent) went without medical care at least once in 2021, a sharp increase from 23 percent in 2017.
The report also shows that less than half of Ugandans never went without enough clean water in 2021, a decline from 49 percent in 2017. One quarter (25 percent) lacked enough clean water ‘many times’ or ‘always’.
However, women with secondary or higher education increased by at least six percent to 40 percent in 2017.
While data shows an upward trend in digital connectivity by both men and women, there still exists a wide gender gap.
Only 66 percent of women, compared to 77 percent of men, use mobile phones daily.
Connections to the electricity grid that work improved by eight percent from 13 percent in 2017 to now 19 percent
Despite the increasing unemployment, the gender gap in unemployment reduced by three percent, from 10 percent in 2017 to now 19 percent.
Similarly, Ugandans who feel they are treated unfairly by the government due to their ethnicity have increased by seven percent, from 15 percent in 2017 to now 22 percent.
Climate change awareness among Ugandans has declined from 78 percent in 2017 to now 56 percent.
While responding to the findings of the report yesterday, the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba, who represented the government, said the country is working with global partners to mitigate the issues highlighted.
To mitigate poverty, Ms Lumumba said the government is rolling out the Parish Development Model (PDM) across the country and that this will be implemented at parish level to ensure sustainability.
She also said the government is working with communities without food, especially those affected by landslides, drought and other climate changes to ensure that they are not affected by hunger.
Ms Lumumba said the government will enforce environmental laws to avoid degradation.
The survey, which was bankrolled by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Uganda, was conducted by Hatchile Consult Limited.
At least 1,200 Ugandan adults were interviewed between December 22, 2020 and January 7, 2021; and January 7 and January 25 2022.
Both surveys covered 300 villages in 110 random districts.
This was the 11th Afrobarometer survey in Uganda since 1999.
The newly developed Afrobarometer SDG scorecard highlight citizens’ experiences and evaluations of their country’s performance on democracy and governance, poverty, health, education, energy supply, water and sanitation, inequality, gender equity, and other priorities reflected in 12 of the 17 SDGs.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that has provided reliable data on experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life in 38 African countries since 1999.