More Ugandans slipped into poverty

Thet poverty is proving to be one of biggest hardle in Uganda with last survey painting another glimpsy picture in the country.

According to Uganda National Panel Survey released on Wednesday, about 8.4% Ugandans slipped into poverty in the last financial year (2018/2019). This figure represents to 338,520 citizens.

The finding which was released by the national statistics body the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) shows that urban areas had 4.5% of its residents slipped to poverty while rural areas had 104 percent.

The new revelation will now require government to take careful looks why the number of Ugandans are slipping back to poverty are on the rise.

Senior statician at UBOS Mr Danstan Aguta revealed that on average, 8.5 percent of the populations are living in abject poverty.

Northern Uganda was found to be the poorest with 21.6 percent of the people in abject poverty. This was followed by Eastern with 10.78% while Western Uganda had 4.9%.

In 2018/2019 financial year alone, 16.6% of Northerners dropped into poverty while Eastern had 14.3 percent.

Mr Aguta explains that this is the sevenths findings carried out by Panel Household Surveys since 2005/2006.

“The [Uganda National Panel Survey] is a multi-topic household survey that is undertaken annually over a twelve – month period. The UNPS produces annual estimates of incomes in key policy areas as well as providing a platform for the experimentation and assessment of national policies and programmes,” he said.

The findings further revealed that 52% of the population continues to engage in agriculture while 22% are in non-agricultural activities. Another 26% have been involved both in agriculture and non-agricultural activities.

It further revealed that at least 13% of those who have completed post-secondary education (tertiary) have settled in agriculture while 21% have quit the same.

23% of those that have only completed secondary education have settled in agriculture while a whooping 31% called it a quit.

A total of 75% of the populations who did not attend formal education are practicing agriculture while 19% quit the industry.

The statistics body further noted that, the poverty level in the country is measured based on those who can afford three meals day and less on less than $1 a day.

“Poverty dynamics in Uganda remain very complicated to understand. There is need for further investigation and analysis to understand poverty dynamics,” she said.

The reports comes as a major blow to government who have been working to enable the country achieve middle income status by 2020. With this findings, this remains a wild dream and government needs to up their game.

The finding will also means that government needs to improve funding to agriculture sector as employs majority of Ugandans.

Experts from UBOS said there is need to encourage commercial agriculture over the common subsistence farming in order to fight poverty at grass root level.

The deputy Executive Director of UBOS Ms Imelda Atai Musana said the findings will help government re-strategise its self with a clear formula of eliminating poverty at a grassroot level.

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