The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
A majority Tanzanians has sunk deeper into poverty in the past three years despite the country's general economic growth, a recent survey shows.
The survey carried over the last year by the Research and Analysis Working Group under the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (Mkukuta) found out that 52 per cent of the respondents, mostly in rural areas felt their economic situation has become worse since 2005.
According to the report of the survey, which was announced in Dar es Salaam recently by the Government, the situation could become even worse amid the rising global food and fuel prices.
The report, which is entitled the 'Poverty and Human Development Report of 2007', has reinforced the widely believed conception that very few Tanzanians were enjoying the fruits of economic growth.
Only about 23 per cent of the people interviewed, largely living in urban areas, said their life style had improved, while 25 per cent said nothing much had changed.
But in all income groups, including the least poor, all perceived the current economic situation as worse off than it was three years ago. Sixty-seven per cent cited the rising cost of food among the basic needs as a major problem.
The survey assessed several variables including employment and other sources of livelihood, availability and costs of agricultural and industrial inputs, enterprise and the availability and costs of food and other basic items.
The findings show that 78 per cent of urban dwellers afforded three meals a day and could at least eat meat or fish three times a week. On the contrary, 55 per cent of rural dwellers afforded three meals a day and meat or fish twice a week on stressed budgets. In small towns 64 per cent afforded three meals a day.
Other problems cited in the report are the lack of reliable electricity, which was increasingly becoming a major obstacle to production in especially urban areas.
About 23 per cent of all respondents said they were using electricity as a source of lighting. Of this figure Dar es Salaam led with 59 per cent, followed by other urban areas with 43 per cent and rural areas only 11 per cent.
The rising costs of gas and electricity have as a result saw the increased use of charcoal, with urban dwellers currently consuming 83 per cent of the total charcoal produced in the country.
In agriculture, the report says the lack of adequate inputs was still a major problem. About 87 per cent of farmers interviewed said they were not using chemical fertilisers, 72 per cent were not using chemical pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, while 77 per cent could not afford improved seeds.
The report says farmers were seriously affected by the high costs and unavailability of fertilisers and other inputs, and also by the unavailability of extension services.
Pastoralists have been facing major hurdles in the form of droughts, diseases, long distance to markets, low market prices for their animals, lack of green grazing areas and inaccessibility to market information.
About 78 per cent of the pastoralists also mentioned the high costs and often lack of veterinary medicines as main problems. Seventy-six per cent of the pastoralists said the government was doing nothing to help them.
However, about 48 per cent of livestock keepers said there was an improvement in extension service provision, although most of it was said by the respondents to be coming mainly from the private sector.
Another major issue highlighted in the report is the bad state of rural roads, which has been mentioned as a setback to economic development and poverty reduction efforts. In urban areas more people acknowledged some improvements.
The current government faced a lot criticism from most of the respondents, especially on poor the accountability of its officials and corruption.
Retourner à la liste <<<<<