68% of Poor Ugandans Own Homesteads on Customary/Clan Arrangements – FSD Report

68% out of the 61% of poor Ugandans who own a homestead, own it on either a customary or clan arrangements, the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda report has revealed.

According to the study, only 7% of the poorest Ugandans own a homestead on a freehold or title arrangement.

“Majority of them own it (homestead) according to Customary/clan laws, which does not increase individual resilience to shocks since, for example, it cannot be easily put down as collateral for a loan,” reads part of the report.

The study titled “Assessing the Economic Resilience of Uganda’s Households” was conducted before the outbreak of COVID-19, with an aim of understanding the resilience and coping mechanisms of adults in Uganda.

It was conducted by FSD Uganda, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).

The study revealed that 52% of middle-income earners and 16% of the richest earners also own homes on Customary or clan arrangement while 16% of middle-income earners and 21% of richest earners owned it on a freehold or title arrangement.

This indicates that only a handful of Ugandans have saved enough, bought land, and constructed a house.

The study looked at several sections ranging from survival, savings, investments, and poverty among households.


According to the study, 40% of Ugandans are poor, 40% are middle-income earners while 20% are rich.

“Three out of four Ugandans did not have enough money to pay for their expenses prior to Covid-19. These will be easily drowned in a lockdown when income is heavily compromised while expenditures have not reduced proportionately,” the report outlines.

54% of Ugandans had the liquid savings over the past 12 months and 42% of them belonged in at least one Saving Group.

Shs 4800 ($1.3) is the median amount of liquid savings available to Ugandans at any time.

The poorest saved 47%, middle-income earners saved 56% while the richest earners saved 64% in the last 12 months, accorded to the study.

“Out of 20% richest earners, only 23% bank with the commercial banking sector while 41% of the 40% poorest earners, 45% of the middle income 40% earners and 36% of the rich 20% save and lend with savings groups,” the report reads.

The study, however, reveals that the pandemic is not gender agnostic as it is leaving women worse off, “Women have six times less saving than men (median amount). In case of emergency, nearly 60% of women would not be able to come up with emergency funds compared to 50% men.”

Three million Ugandans are at survival risk and 23% are at risk of losing 100% of their daily income.

“Three Million adults mostly in urban areas are at surviving risk (food and roof), in a protracted health care crisis and this situation could become worse,” reads the report.


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