- In the villages, it is visible to see children with bulging stomach, those suffering from kwashiorkor due to malnutrition remains common sight
- The impact of approaches on rural poverty is typically measured in terms of household incomes and assets, and social empowerment, food security and agricultural productivity, and institutions and polices
- Undernourished people in the world was from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016
About 836 people across the World are still living in extreme poverty.
According to figures released from Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD, it indicates that the rise in the estimated number of chronically undernourished people in the world was from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
In all regions of the world, rates of extreme poverty and food insecurity are higher in rural areas, where three-quarters of the extremely poor and food-insecure people live.
And a result, the International Conference on Rural Inequalities: Evaluating approaches to overcome disparities organized by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD, is to conduct a two-day conference that will explore critical questions regarding whether strategies and programmes that aim to eradicate rural poverty reduce disparities within rural areas.
In the Northern Western districts in Uganda, people in rural areas have continued to face abject poverty where they cannot afford to eat the recommended three meals a day, live in descent house or even afford medical bills or dress properly.
The State Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyocwiny, said: “Our climate is changing and not in a favourable way and we should then mobilize the people to stop cutting trees and instead plant more. We should also discourage people sitting by the road sides instead of farming because in the next coming months, we may see the situation worsen,” she said.
Although, a wide range of approaches have been adopted to reduce rural poverty, from social protection to sustainable livelihoods to wealth creation, the situation is far from improving.
Kwiyocwiny said the locals should plant short term and weather resistant crops like sweet potatoes and also utilize the swamps for yams and bananas. The most affected families having one meal a day include those on the Nile belt of Rhino Camp, Pawor, Madi Okollo, Dufile and Obongi in Moyo district with an estimated 100,000 population affected in these areas.
In 2009, the famine that struck the region, forced many to look for alternatives of wild fruits from the bush. The most affected were the children who faced a lot of malnutrition. Many of the locals sell food items to buy other necessities.
West Nile has a population of 2.3 million people. It is the second poorest Sub-region with 34.9 per cent, although a reduction from 42.3 per cent, according to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics that was released in March 2018.
In Zombo, there is reliable rainfall that has helped the region to get food. Places like Paidha, Zeu, Jangokoro has been producing huge amounts of food items which has become the food basket for the region. On Wednesday and Saturdays, several trucks of vehicles from the region and Acholi load food items from Paidha market.
The District Production Coordinator for Arua, Gordon Toa, said ground nuts, sorghum, maize and millet were greatly affected by the dry spell in May. “With the expectation of rains to end by this month means that we shall have a severe hunger. This is a long period though we keep encouraging farmers to grow drought resistant crops with the little rain received,” he said.
Dr Toa said the families are being encouraged to farm in their backyards with help of simple irrigation technology.