Poverty in West Nile sub-region of north western Uganda.

West Nile sub-region is one of the areas in northern Uganda, which was hard hit by many years of rebel activities, civil strife and prolonged political instability and social unrest. One of the most disturbing and destabilising rebel activities was carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Konny, which spanned over a period of more than two decades.

During this period of uncertainty, hundreds of local populations in the sub-region, found themselves uprooted from their rural settlements and their economic activities terribly disrupted, with devastating consequences.

As a result, poverty has since been highest and most striking in northern Uganda, including the West Nile sub-region, of north western Uganda.

While over 70% of the population of Uganda lives in rural areas, in the West Nile sub-region, over 80% of the local population lives and works, on agricultural plots of land, in rural community settings.

This represents about 94.4% of national poverty, which is about 46.2% higher than the national average of only 24.5%, according to National Health Services Report: 2009/2010.

According to national reports, over 10 million people in Uganda live below the poverty line threshold. Most of these people are found in rural areas, of which northern Uganda, which includes the West Nile sub-region is most impacted, of all sub-regions in the country.

Unemployment and under employment in rural areas, especially among youth, seriously threatens the economic and social fabric, political stability, social and civil order of northern Uganda, including the West Nile sub-region, of north western Uganda.

We are witnessing more and more unemployed and or under employed youth leaving rural communities in droves, searching for what appears to be non existent jobs, in urban and semi-urban centres, which are rapidly populating.