About Agoro, Northern Uganda

The Agoro region has endured years of civil and tribal violence from the time of Ugandan Independence, which has devastated the community and upset its way of life. Post Ugandan Independence in 1962 the area has suffered almost continual conflict, persecution & neglect, much of it based on ethnic tensions. Socio-culturally, there has traditionally been deep gender inequality and power imbalance between men and women. Sexual violence, child marriage and lack of respect for property rights against girls and women remain a prevalent, but silent, crime. Thousands have been killed or forced into fighting for rebel factions, the most active in recent years being the Lord's Resistance Army, which is estimated to have abducted over 25,000 boys and girls. Many of the remainder has been affected as a result of harsh government treatment of the Acholi in reaction to the LRA. At one time it was estimated that over 1.8 million people across Northern Uganda were displaced by the conflict, many of them in the area where ACDA operates. Even though relative peace has been restored in recent years, many of those who left have never returned. The prolonged conflict, compounded by the impact of changing climatic conditions, has significantly affected area farming, the primary means of subsistence for over 90% of the population. In recent years, ongoing disturbances in South Sudan have resulted in a large number of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the area. As of December 2015, the UN estimated that there are over 173,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Uganda, many of whom are in the Agoro region. HIV/AIDS remains a major problem with an estimated 8.2% of the area population being infected with the virus at year end 2014.The combination of all these factors has resulted in most area residents suffering from extreme poverty and vulnerability.




Social Environment

The illiteracy rate is high.
Female having a higher rate of 68%.
There is a high dropout rate of pupils, at 56% for primary schools as compared to the National level of 40%. This is attributed to the prolonged insurgency causing loss of the properties, livestock and infrastructures.
This has led to household food insecurity and high poverty level of 60% in the district compared to the National Level of 30%.
The community lifestyle has been interrupted by the effect of IDP camps where residents live under very difficult conditions characterised by insufficient food; abject poverty and limited self-reliance, poor access to health services.
The impact of has been an increase in alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and commercialization of sex as a means for survival.

"While children are supposed to be protected by international law, in reality, they are not."

Education

The general District illiteracy rate is high, with the female having a higher rate of 68%.

There is a high dropout rate of pupils, at 56% for primary schools as compared to the National level of 40%. This is attributed to the prolonged insurgency causing loss of the properties, livestock and infrastructures. This has led to household food insecurity and high poverty level of 60% in the district compared to the National Level of 30%.

The community lifestyle has been interrupted by the IDP camps live under very difficult conditions characterized by in-sufficient food; abject poverty and limited self-reliance, poor access to health services. The real challenge is that the majority of the population is very young. Those affected by the war are now becoming parents with no survival skills; hence the lack of education, lack of role models means what the young faced during the insurgency is being passed onto the younger generation.

Such situation of precariousness and idleness contribute to risky behaviors in the community such as sexuality, alcoholism and drug abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and commercialization of sex as a means for survival, making the population highly vulnerable to STDs and HIV/AIDS.