Underlying Causes of poverty

Fardosa Muse
Posted May 16, 2012 from Kenya

There are many factors that aid the prevalence of poverty. Firstly, it is difficult to assess these causes because the word ‘poverty’ can be very subjective and difficult to define. In attempting to define what poverty is, one would suggest having a lack of income and resources not consistent with the requirements of the poverty line. Three factors that play major roles as causes of poverty would be having a lack of education, systemic discrimination, and inequities based on a capitalist system.

Education has long been a problem in society, because the lack of this essential tool of survival doesn’t allow for growth of any sort. It is a known fact that the risk of poverty usually decreases as people get more schooling. Poor education can be either a cause of poverty or an effect. Young people who drop out of school may be poor because they lack the required skills needed to get good jobs, therefore adding to a system that forces them to only be able to live in low-income, economically starving areas. Moreover, education is a basic requirement in order to climb a hierarchy of income in our society, so uneducated people are forced to become content with their surroundings.

Systemic discrimination can be said to be a form of institutional injustice that depends on this. Social inequality entrenched sources of poverty are social inequality that stems from ethic group, cultural idea about relative worth social class based on education level or income or economic status. • Geographical Condition • Lack of proper road network • Increased population pressure Increased population pressure and rapid process of urbanization driven by prolonged drought had significantly weakened the institution of pastoral society hence accelerated household food insecurity. Settled forms of pastoralist is visible where families stay near water source all year round and moves when it becomes very dry as a result many household loss the only source of livelihood thus reduces people live below the poverty line. • Harsh climatical condition The effects of climate change are undermining an already fragile resource base and have contributed to declining agricultural yields over the past decades in recent years; drought has become a perennial problem in parts of Kenya. Episodes in 2009 and 2011 generated food emergencies, while flooding in 2010 affected parts of the country severely washing away all food stock and destroyed all assets hence Undermines the productivity of the pastoral sector causing destitution. • Government policy Social exclusion from participation. Poor decision making as a result of exclusion of the effected population who would have articulated pressing issue based on background knowledge and experience are left out during policy decision making at national level. Case scenario: during national budget it’s always lopsided, regional based oppressive to the poor. Ministry of livestock which is the only government ministry that cater for livestock development is always allocated the smallest amount of money during budget reading hence difficult in improving livestock infrastructure and hence undermine the development of already marginalized pastoral communities in arid and semi arid areas in kenya • Land ownership • Social cultural and traditional practices • War and Cross border conflict • This contributed to waste of resources and loss of human life and much needed experience of the older gener ation

• Dependency

Result from being on the receiving end of charity. It’s an attitude that on is so poor that one cannot help oneself •Dishonesty when resources that are intended to be used for community services are diverted in to private pocket of some in position of power and authority. Recommendation • Influence government policies and development programmes designs to foster sustainable livelihood among communities

• Broaden access to education among marginalized group to address the first paragraph highlighted

Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Comments 2

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May 18, 2012
May 18, 2012

Hi Fardosa, Thank you for your well thought out piece, it highlighted many important causes of poverty, and I especially liked how you said that poverty is subjective, I'd be interested to learn more about this idea. I also agree with you that poor decisions are being made as a result of excluding the affected population from policy making, this is something I would like to see change!

Fardosa Muse
May 19, 2012
May 19, 2012

thanks Hannah,i hope they consider all our concerns and influence the governments to implement the recommendations we suggested .