The population sub-sector is concerned with the overall quality of life of the people of Lira District through improved reproductive health services, sustainable population growth and development, and enhanced gender equity and equality.
The sub-sector is guided by the national population policy and programme, whose main components are:
– Reproductive health including family planning and sexual (MOH/DDHS)
– Population and development strategies which seeks to integrate population issues into sustainable development through data collection, analysis research and planning (POPSEC/DPO)
– Advocacy campaign to promote a supportive and enabling environment for population and related issues such as reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS, improving status of women, longer life expectancy, lower infant and maternal mortality, gender equality and equity, adolescent development and health, strengthening national (district) capacity to formulate and implement population and development strategies and increasing awareness and resources for population and development (POPSEC/DPO)
Increasing population and its resultant demand on natural resources has led to marked destruction of the environment, especially forest cover. Over 90% of the district population use firewood and charcoal as the main source of energy for cooking. With a population growth rate of 3.4% per year, the expansion of agricultural land to meet the increasing demand for food has led to the encroachment on wetland and forest reserves. Continued population pressure will lead to further environmental degradation and decline in agricultural productivity thus limiting the districts capability of achieving food security and sustainable development. Lira urban population has been growing at 10% per annum and this poses a great challenge in terms of urban planning and design.
According to the 2002 census, the female population of Lira constitute 50.6 percent of the total district population. Given that they are an important resource base, and instrumental in reproduction and production, their significance as agents and beneficiaries of socio-economic development need not be over emphasised. As much as possible the sub-sector disaggregates all statistics by gender.
There are marked gender disparities in access to education, formal sector employment, decision-making and access to property, including land and capital. The situation is further aggravated by the Lango Tribal Culture that accords low economic status to women and also renders them limited control over their reproductive rights.
HIV/AIDS is presently one of the leading causes of death among the adults and children under five. It is estimated that between 25 – 40 percent of HIV/AIDS positive mothers in Uganda transmit the virus to their children.
HIV/AIDS has also led to the exacerbation of certain diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis, which had hitherto been controlled.
Linkages with other departments and NGOs
The District Population Office is the focal point for promoting population factors in development planning in the district. The office functions closely with other departments and NGOs working in the population field and keep records of data on population.
The office therefore attracts government (i.e. district departments and sub-counties) as well as NGOs and private sector who wish to obtain or supply relevant information to the office.
Others may want to visit the office to discuss projects, plans or research they have, which could have a bearing on the life of the people in the districts.
– Availability of relevant office equipments e.g. computer set
– Ability to analyse and disseminate reliable demographic data to other departments, sub-counties and NGOs.
– Strategic placement in planning unit that enables integration of population factors in planning.
– Good political support to the sub-sector activities.
– Logistical and mentoring support from population secretariat.
– Availability of donor supported programmes which is strengthening the sub-sectors capacity especially the coordination of BDR programme.
– Capacity building through numerous workshops by central government ministries e.g. Local Government, Finance and Planning.
– Inadequate resources (fund) to run the sub-sectors activities.
– Heavy workload on the Statistician as a result of being alone without Population Officer in the sub-sector.
– Lack of relevant software for demographic data analysis.
– Diminishing mentoring and logistical support from population secretariat.
– Inadequate funds in the district, limiting the scope of the sub-sectors operations.
– Still high negative response by the population to reproductive issues e.g. family planning.
– Consideration of the sub-sectors priorities as non-PEAP areas