A new study by the East African NGO, Twaweza, has found that eight out of every 10 Ugandans are convinced that government is doing a bad job at controlling inflation, creating jobs and fighting corruption.
The launch of the study’s report took place at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Tuesday. Up to 2,000 Ugandans from across 200 constituencies were surveyed between August and September 2017.
The study found that 58 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with the state of the economy. Explaining this, Marie Nanyanzi, a programme officer in charge of Sauti za Wananchi (voice of the public), said most Ugandans feel weighed down by the struggle to make ends meet.
“A clear majority are displeased with the government’s job in keeping prices of essential goods down. Similar numbers are concerned that it is not doing well at creating jobs (78%) and fighting corruption (79%),” she said.
“When it comes to their households, six in 10 citizens name inflation and the high cost of living as the top problems they face daily,” she said.
The survey also shows that majority of Ugandans are concerned about the state of public health facilities (55 per cent) as well as hunger/drought (49%), low access to safe water (31%) and poor quality of education (19%).
The issues that rile them the most about poor education include long distances to school (19%); school contributions other than tuition fees (12%); insufficient teachers (11%); poor teaching (9%), inadequate scholastic materials (9%); and space (8%).
Seven out of 10 have access to a clean source of drinking water in the dry season, rising to eight in the wet season.
The Twaweza survey found that 60 per cent of people cite poor health services as one of the top three problems they face. The survey shows that majority of Ugandans (51 per cent) visit state-owned health facilities.
Problems found at health centres are rated thus: long queues (30%), lack of drugs (29%), lack of attention from staff (18%), expensive services (18%), patients sleeping on the floor (16%) absentee health workers (15%) and poor hygiene (11%).
As expected, the survey found that a tiny minority of only two per cent of Ugandans pay for their health through insurance.
Nanyanzi said the study found increased awareness of public rights to good health services.
There was also a noted improvement in the health outcomes on account of increased awareness. Five out of six children now sleep under a treated mosquito net, regardless of urban-rural divide and wealth disparities.
This is the first time Twaweza has looked at a wide range of issues rather than just education, under what is called the Sauti za Wananchi survey.
Explaining this, Twaweza country lead and manager, Dr Mary Goretti Nakabugo, said they were moving towards painting a more comprehensive picture of life in Uganda.
“This is data on Ugandan citizens’ lives, experiences, opinions and related matters on their most pressing needs that will be available to government leaders to help influence the kind of decisions that will enable development,” she said.