A new report has revealed that 7 out of 10 citizens were worried about what their families would eat in June 2020 as the impact of COVID-19 continues to bite.
The report conducted by Sauti za Wananchi and the Food Rights Alliance basing on data collected from 1,600 respondents across Uganda in May and June 2020, showed that coronavirus left 70% of Ugandans distressed and “worrying about running out of food.”
This latest survey is the third in a three part series of impact assessments based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high frequency mobile phone survey.
“On a number of measures, Ugandans express concerns about and indicate they are short of food. In the previous month, due to a lack of money or other resources: Seven out of ten citizens (70%) report having worried about running out of food,” the report says.
According to the report, this food crisis forced families to cut down on the number of times they had meals in a day due to lack of money to purchase food items. This equally affected on children’s diet because according to the report, 60% of the children between the ages of 6 to 12 months were eating the same food as adults in the households. The average number of meals taken per day by children aged between 6 months and five years is 2.7. This rises to an average of 2.8 meals per day in wealthier households and falls to 2.5 meals per day in poorer households.
The report adds that 41% of the respondents reported having been hungry, while one out of four reported going for a whole day without food and a majority of citizens (57%) reported having been forced to consume only one type of food at least once.
“Again these data are bringing us timely and powerful insight on how Covid-19 is playing out across our country. The clear message here is that citizens are hungry. Across a range of measures of experiences and perceptions of food security; large numbers of Ugandans say they are struggling. Even more worryingly, high proportions of children are missing meals or eating less which can have long term consequences. It is clear that intervention is needed to support the people of Uganda to claim their right to food,” Marie Nanyanzi of Sauti za Wananchi at Twaweza, said.
However, Bank of Uganda data that was released last week, showed that in May 2020, Ugandans made more deposits in the Banks in form of savings despite the hard times due to COVID-19. The report showed that Ugandans deposited up to Shs 8.5 trillion, the highest amount ever deposited in a single month.