POVERTY levels have reduced in Kasese ed from 52% to 48% in the last seven years, the district planner, Charles Mugisa, has disclosed.

This, however, is still high compared to 34 % at national level, he added. Mugisa was speaking at a three-day district budget conference at Kasese Catholic Social Services Hall from January 18 to 20. He said though poverty levels had declined, most people were still having one meal a day.

He said at least three persons die of preventable diseases in each of the 24 sub-counties in the district every week.

Mugisa said the illiterate rate is still high despite of government’s interventions with universal primary and secondary education and functional adult literacy programs.

He said deteriorating climatic conditions have also greatly affected agricultural out put in the district leading to increased poverty levels in the district as most of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

The planner further expressed concern over the low adoption of government programs like NAADS and joining saccos by the population.

He said in the coming financial year the district with funding from the kingdom of Belgium under her development arm Belgian Technical Corporation (BTC) through poverty eradication action plan targets to increase household income and food security among the population among other interventions.

While opening the conference the district chairman Julius Kithaghenda called for unity among different stakeholders for better service delivery.

Kithaghenda asked the district to focus on governments manifesto as they budget for their district which emphases poverty reduction.

The chief administrative officer Giles Kahika noted that business in the rural areas like Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council is now booming following the extension of power to those areas by Kilembe Investments ltd under the rural electrification programme.