- According to the report, 41 per cent of Ugandans are calling upon government to provide free quality social services, lower taxes and fewer regulations on small businesses, and increased funding for social safety nets
- Only three out of 10 respondents feel that the government is showing sufficient urgency in tackling the problem of poverty in society
- 1,925 respondents across Uganda in May this year participated in the research which helped the organisation to reach at the findings
- Most Ugandans constituting 80 per cent also believe that hard work makes it easy for someone to acquire wealth in life.
By Cox Ronald Orachwun
Nebbi- A new report released by Twaweza this week shows that over 54 per cent of Ugandans say laziness is the leading cause of poverty.
The findings were released by Twaweza this week dubbed “The haves and the have not’s: Ugandans’ opinions on poverty, fairness, and inequality.” It is based on data from SautizaWananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey.
According to the findings, external factors such as social injustice constituted 29 per cent and unemployment 11 per cent.
In the same vein three times more people, about 62 per cent say that hard work is the route to getting ahead in life or improving one status in the society, as compared to education.
Responding to the findings, Mr Mayanja Gonzaga, Commissioner, Monitoring and Learning at the Office of the Prime Minister says that little resources are being given to local government.
“Already, there are ongoing efforts by government to increase district local budgets with the help of development partners in a bid to improve service delivery.”
The report also shows that many Ugandans have an unclear sense of relative poverty especially in urban areas, where at least eight out of 10 urban residents 78 per cent are considered to be in the richest 40 per cent of the population.
Children of Fr Bilbao Nursery school in Moyo district at their school. Education remains paramount factor in fighting poverty. Photo by Metedio Iceta.
However, almost all Ugandans believe that the gap between rich and the poor is way too large constituting 95 per cent while a large majority of 81 per cent thinks that the government is responsible for reducing this huge gap between the rich and the poor in the country.
Ms Marie Nanyanzi of SautizaWananchi at Twaweza, says Ugandans’ attitudes towards women’s access to resources and opportunities are disappointing, but their strong faith in the justice system to handle cases objectively is still positive.
“Ugandans seem to place a lot of the responsibility for poverty at their own and their peers’ doors, they are unequivocal in calling for strong systems of government support and lower obstacles for small businesses.”
Also, six out of 10 people agree that inequality motivates people to work hard and four out of 10 think that social benefits make people lazy (44%) and that it is shameful to receive them without working (37%).
Despite the high poverty index, Ugandans still have faith in the justice system, with nine out of 10 people who agree that ordinary people (91 per cent) and wealthy people (85 per cent) face justice in the courts of law.
The Situation on Women
Attitudes to women’s roles are worrying. Only three out of 10 think boys’ education should be prioritized over girls’ (32 per cent), four out of 10 thinks that men should be given preferential access to jobs, sources of income and resources in times of shortage (38 per cent) and five out of 10 (51 per cent) think that it is better for the family when the woman is primary custodian of the household.