Problems of youthful population, Uganda

notes on the problems of having a youthful population in Uganda

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  • Created on: 09-04-13 13:13
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Socio-economic and environmental implications of Uganda's Youthful Population
Uganda's youthful population has presented its government, economy and society with a number of
problems and opportunities as summarised below:
i) Family Welfare
health of mothers and children is adversely affected by high fertility;
early child-bearing has a number of socio-economic and health consequences
teenage pregnancies increases the number of young mothers who lack material resources to
support their children
encourages school drop-out which then acts as a barrier to the educational and career
advancement of women and their future independence.
exposure to aids is increased with early pregnancies.
ii) Increased demand for Health services
Demand for health services is rising due to high fertility (and increased further by the recent AIDS
epidemic) but the health infrastructure is insufficient to cope with this
iii) Increased demand for education services
the government has set itself to achieve universal primary education by 2003 but the high birth rate may
hinder this. The population of primary school age is expected to grow from 3.3 million (1991) to 7.2 million
by 2021.
iv) Labour force and employment
the youthful population accounts for a substantial expansion of the labour force, which is mainly engaged
in agriculture and the informal sector. The potential labour force is expected to double between
1991-2021 to reach 16.8million. Very few employment opportunities can be generated in the formal
sector and these limited opportunities for growth in the economy increase problems of unemployment,
underemployment, rural-urban migration and crime.
v) Urbanisation and Housing / Related Services.
Rapid increase in population has not been matched by the growth and development in basic physical
infrastructure and the provision of adequate housing and social amenities is not keeping pace with
demand. Outcomes include over-crowding, growth of slums and deterioration.
vi) Demand for Social Security
although the proportion of elderly is fairly low, the youthful population and its associated problems, such
as unemployed and general poverty result in high dependency. There is no comprehensive social security
policy and individual household have to become responsible.
vii) Demand for Environmental Resources.
The following are all environmental challenges that Uganda faces:-
high population growth is resulting in degradation of the environment
increasing land fragmentation and decrease in soil fertility causing crop yields to fall
increasing use of marginal lands which can't support agriculture sustainably
depletion of wetlands to expand agricultural lands and forest depletion to gain land use
for fuel.


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