The paper examines the dynamics of chronic poverty in remote rural Bitale village in Kisoro district in South-western Uganda. The paper is laid on the assumption that remote rural areas are more likely to experience chronic poverty because of their geographical remoteness and isolation. According to the findings, one of the major causes of chronic poverty in Bitale village is the mountainous terrain that facilitates entry into and blocks exit from poverty. One is born into and stays in this spatial poverty trap with limited opportunities in form of physical, economic, social and political capital. The chronically poor are typically excluded from the few available services namely; the Universal Primary Education, the community ambulatory services, and the rotational saving and credit association. Such exclusion underpins the inter-generational transmission of poverty among the chronically poor. The village lacked a connecting road until August 2001. However, the interrupter only in form a narrow and steep road laid in interlocking spurs without attendant improvement in access roads, changes in motorised transport activities, direct provision of economic incentives and guidance has not substantially changed the situation and the community still depends on a natural resource based livelihood. Only 10% of the Bitale residents managed to move out of chronic poverty within the past twenty years. Such upward mobility was attributed to family background and individual capability that enabled the few people from previously poor families to acquire education, productive assets and social capital. The last section of the paper proposes future research agenda.
Dynamics of chronic poverty in remote rural Uganda, presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, i + 19 pp.