Adapting Poverty Reduction Strategies in Uganda
Anthony focused his practicum study on the Nyamanga Community in the rural area of Kyenjojo district of Uganda, where the majority of community members live in abject poverty. In remote rural areas, smallholder farmers do not have access to vehicles or proper roads to transport their products, and market linkages are weak or nonexistent. They also lack access to financial services and technology to help prevent disease and pests from destroying their crops. In cooperation with members and policy makers, Anthony used in depth interviews and focused group discussions to analyze the different strategies and successes associated with eliminating poverty. Anthony points out that enabling environment and policies at the community level will not help if the impoverished individual is not motivated to propel himself out of poverty. In order for individuals to become motivated and envision a path of out poverty, he recommends that governments set up infrastructure projects such as building roads and searching for markets for agricultural produce, in addition to setting up schools, health facilities, and businesses where people can buy local products. A lot of the time men, the head of the household, will earn a substantial amount of income, but due to patriarchal culture, alcoholism, and poor money management, earnings quickly disappear, without any benefit to the rest of the family. However, the study did show that households in which the wife and husband worked together were more likely to lift themselves out of poverty. The three characteristics needed to fight against poverty that were encountered the most often during this study were hard work, financial discipline, and an independent mind with the effective use of personal judgement. Anthony concludes that to reduce poverty among community members, individuals need to change their behaviors and empower themselves to take responsibility for their own development, diversify sources of income, investing, and to practice being trustworthy, faithful, and hardworking.