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Population increase in Uganda is not an issue causing poverty but a failure to have equal distribution of resources

By Lawrence Okwakol 

Pallisa: The rapid population growth Uganda is experiencing is not a big problem, but greed and monopoly of resources by a few individuals would be a threat to humanity.

In a dialogue that attracted civil society actors, politicians, academicians, cultural, and religious leaders organized by the Governance and Accountability of Inter-District Civil Society Organizations Network (GAIN) Uganda in partnership with Kondrad Adeneur Stiftung, a German international organization, participants debated how the rapid population growth in Uganda can be checked so that the resources the country has are able to give services to the people.

The dialogue was held at the Busitema University Pallisa campus general purpose main hall. over the weekend during the second week of April 2024.

In a heated argument steered by Gawaya Tegulle, a senior journalist and lawyer, and Stephen Galogatho, a former Makerere Guild president, one of the panelists said people should not waste time discussing how  to control population but should tackle the issue of the uneven distribution of the resources available.

Galogatho argued that the people who advocate for family planning methods are talking when they are living, and none of them wants to die so as to depopulate the country.

“It’s improper to blame increasing poor service delivery to a large population but accept that we have wolves who are suppressing others,”  Galogatho stated.

Yusuf Mekere, the councilor representing Olok sub-county in Pallisa district, said the problem we have in Uganda is that people are living in absolute fear.

“The economy of this country is under the control of a handful of individuals who don’t even exceed 10% of the entire population, which has created a wide gap between the rich and the poor. People who have hectares of land are grabbing from the  poor,” Menkere said.

However, Abram Omasai, the Pallisa district senior environment officer, said the rate at which our population is growing needs affirmative action so that the households have members whom their resource envelope can support.

Omasai said this environment has been degraded by human activities because of the increasing number of people in the country.

“What we need is to have a manageable productive population that can sustainably use the available resources. I would not like people to buy the idea of Galogatho because we may get misledd,” Omasai said.

Emmanuel Kasasira, a tourism and hospitality management student at the Busitema University Pallisa campus, said the issue of youths being unproductive is true because some of them do courses that are not of their interest but are forced by admission policy.

“Honestly, I want to declare here before Edward Andama, my associate professor, that my interest was law, but I ended up offering tourism because I had no option,”  Kasasira and.

Irene Namulindwa of the same faculty said the high population growth in Uganda results from men’s multiple relationships with women.

“The true number of children a man has is always known during his burial. A wife at home is told, Let’s have only two children, yet he has the other ten  outside,” Namulindwa said.

Samson Okurut Emasit, the GAIN Uganda program manager, said they organized the engagement to give stakeholders a platform to raise issues, and they channeled it to authorities.

Okurut said the discussion was on demography and migration.

Professor Andama said it wasn’t necessary for our young people to go to the Middle East in search of jobs instead of investing their youthful strength in Uganda.

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