Perceptions about socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on people's livelihoods in Masindi District
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This study was conducted in Masindi district with an aim to assess the people’s perspectives about the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 to provide information that can be used by the policymakers to address such effects. The researcher employed an explanatory cross-sectional study design using purely qualitative methods of data collection notably; In-depth Interviews and Key Informant Interviews. The study administered questionnaires to 30 respondents in the following categories; business persons, community members and leaders. The findings of the study revealed that COVID-19 has enormously affected the socio-economic aspects of people of all kinds, both in informal and formal sectors. The findings further reveal that as part of the effects, there was business closure, increased rates of domestic violence, mental stress, early marriages and pregnancies, decline in government revenue, increase in poverty levels and increased cost of living. Despite the above effects, people had to find different means of survival or coping mechanisms including; embracing modern technologies like online studying, budget and expenditure cuts, engaging in alternative income generating activities and urban rural migration inter alia. These were all employed to mitigate the apparent effects advanced by the outbreak of COVID-19. The public policy recommendations included the provision of soft loans, economic incentives, the establishment of vocational training centers and provision of psycho-social support to rehabilitate the mentally affected people.