Urban Poverty and the Survival Strategies of The Poor in a sella Town, Oromiya National Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


Poverty is multi-faceted issue and deep-rooted in Ethiopia. The country is among the world's poorest nations in terms of human development index. The incidence of poverty in urban center of Ethiopia has been growing fast over the last few years as compared to the rural area. The main emphasis of this study is to assess the level and status of urban poverty and survival strategies of poor households in Asella town. Asella is the capital city of Arsi zone in Oromiya regional state. In this study, analysis was made using primary dala collecled Fom 300 sample households selected through systematic random sampling Fom purposively selected six Kebeles of the town. Structured questionnaire was used to collect pertinent data form the household,. Descriptive statistics and statistical analysis (ch -square test) was used to describe the sample households' demographic and socio-economic characteristics; and to test statistical significance benveen poor and non-poor household for some calegorical variables. In addition to the statislical tests a Logit model was employed 10 identifY determinants of urban poverty. COSI of basic need (CBN) approach and poverty indices compulalional formula were also used to identifY the magnitude, incidence, and depth of poverty in the town. The researchfolll1d out that food poverty line and total poverty line for the area are 1506.28 Birr and 2271.86 Birr per adult per year, respectively. Both the food and the total poverty line for the area are higher than the national poverty line calculated for all urban areas in the country. The incidence, depth and severity of urban poverty calc lila led for the areas are 69%, 33%, and 18% respectively while for the food poverty line are 63%, 27% and 15%, respectively. In the study, Variables that are positively correlated Wilh the probability of being poor are: sex, size of household and chronic diseases incidence in Ihe household member. Variable negatively correlated with probabilities of being poor are income, educational level, marital status and hOl/sing lenure. The Logit result shows that Fom different factors hypothesized to determine poverty variables like; sex, f amily size, monthly income, educational level of household head, and chronic diseases incidence in the household member significantly affect the incidence of poverty in the town. The result also has implication for policy makers, researchers, policy implementers and non-governmental agencies to take their parts in minimizing the incidence of poverty. The majority of poor household heads' monthly expenditure by far exceeds their monthly income. To close the gap between their fixed incomes and ever rising expenditure of basic needs, poor households in the town practice various survival and orl coping mechanisms which include: engagement of family members in various informal activities, selling of personal possessions, selling of household assets, renting oul property, leasing part of their dwellings to others, moving from higher rent residential to cheaper residential areas, taking loans from friends orland relatives, sending children abroad, reducing the quality and quantity offood consumed, and reducing number of meals il1lake per day.



Oromiya National Regional State