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The Impacts of Increased Remittances on Rural Life in the Gambia

13 Oct 2023


Do you know that most of the 118,000 Gambian expatriates residing in different countries to earn a living and send money to Gambia to offer financial support belong to the country’s rural areas.?
 

The incidence of poverty and unemployment in the Gambia’s rural areas is higher than in the urban dwellings. Therefore, most of the people living in the rural areas first travel to the urban areas to find jobs with better economic prospects but, given the country’s economic condition, end up travelling abroad to find work.
 

A report by IOM UN Migration said that over 118,000 Gambian migrants live in foreign countries to earn a living and make significant contributions to the country’s economy through the remittances they send back. A World Bank report said that the inward remittances to the Gambia amounted to over $600 million in 2022.
 

It is a significant financial contribution to the country’s flailing economy.

A chunk of these inward remittances is received by people in the rural settings of the country. Inward remittances play a significant role in overcoming the challenges residents of rural areas face and help them elevate their standards of living.
 

This blog will shed light on some of the major challenges people in the Gambia’s rural dwellings face and the impact of remittances on rural life.

 

Major Challenges Rural People Face in the Gambia

In every country, the population is largely divided into two residential settings.

One is the urban setting, which is also referred to as the cities. The other is the rural setting, which is also known as the villages.
 

Life in Gambian cities or urban areas is relatively easy and full of amenities than for people in rural settings, where a majority of the people struggle with the basic needs of life. They, therefore, travel to the urban areas for work, and if they do not find work there, they try to travel abroad and earn a living and support their family back home through a money transfer to Gambia.
 

Let’s now understand a few major challenges people in rural areas in the Gambia face.
 

Incidence of Acute Poverty

Across the world, extreme poverty is a rural phenomenon. A report published by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Social Inclusion has revealed that in 2013, four of every five people lived on the then International Income Poverty Line of $1.90 a day in rural areas.
 

Lack of Job Opportunities

In rural areas of the Gambia, people struggle to have jobs and work. Not only do people grapple with jobs in the rural dwellings of the Gambia, but all rural dwellers face the same challenge worldwide.
 

Low Wages

Even by a token of luck, if you get some job or work in the rural areas of the Gambia, you will be paid an awfully low wage, which is not even enough to bear the essential expenses. Therefore, the people of rural areas travel abroad to earn a higher income.

 

But before you move abroad, you must Know About The Countries That Pay The Most To Expatriate Workers.
 

Health Challenges in Rural Areas

One of the gravest challenges rural dwellers face is the lack of sufficient healthcare professionals, clinics and hospitals. This leads to health complications as people have to travel long distances to the cities to access quality healthcare services.
 

Rural Education and Schools

In almost every rural dwelling, you will find an insufficient number of schools. And whatever structure you find in the name of schools, it can best be described as anything but school because it lacks furniture, boards, space, restroom facilities, and so on.
 

Additionally, the lack of teaching staff coupled with a disproportionate teacher-student ratio only compounds the challenge.
 

High Domestic Violence

A majority of the Gambian people living in the country’s rural areas suffer high domestic violence. It largely is the result of frustration and depression stemming from unemployment leading to poverty.
 

Lack of Access to, Well, Everything

Rural areas in the Gambia are deprived of several amenities that cities offer. It only adds to the problems of the people as they have to travel long distances to cities to access these essential amenities.
 

Let’s see how the Gambian migrants create an impact on rural life through the remittances they send back through an online money transfer to Gambia.
 

Impact of Inward Remittances on Rural Life in the Gambia

Inward remittances impact rural life in the following few ways.
 

Health and Education

Many people have taken the initiative on their own to establish BHUs and schools in the rural areas of the country to cater to the basic health and fundamental education needs of the people.
 

Small Business Opportunities

It is through inward remittances that many people have managed to establish small business units catering to the basic needs of the people living in the rural areas of the Gambia.
 

Facilitated Commuting

In the normal configuration of every rural area worldwide, commuting takes a long time and is a hazardous process. You have to toggle between different vehicles to reach your destination. Right? However, remittances allow people to buy vehicles to commute conveniently and independently.
 

Increased Enlightenment

The households witnessing increased domestic violence see a substantial decline in violence with the inflowing remittances. Because with the inflowing money, households can have access to windows offering enhanced enlightenment and more insight about life, rights, and so on.
 

Better Standard of Living

With the flow of remittances, you can either have the opportunity to shift to the cities or improve your living standard while still being a rural dweller. Normally, the living standard in rural areas is relatively low.
 

Space to Grow Food and Eat Organic

While living in rural areas, you face several challenges that have been described above, but with the financial soundness that you achieve through inward remittances, you can:

  • Have more space to grow your vegetables and fruits
  • Keep cattle and get organic food from them
  • As a result, eat healthy and organic

You can find huge spaces in rural dwellings, which can help you with the objectives stated here.
 

Wrapping Up the Discussion

Where remittances help boost a country’s economic progress, they directly improve the quality of life for several people, especially those living under the poverty line. Increased remittances to rural areas likewise can enhance life quality by ensuring the provision of modern facilities typically found in urban areas. To have your remittances create a substantial positive impact on your rural life, you need to ensure you save more while you send money to Gambia online in terms of saving fees, conversion costs and getting high exchange rates. Right? For this, ACE Money Transfer is your partner as the firm charges low fees offers live and market-competitive exchange rates and much more from just one stop.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
 

What is the Gambia’s rural life like?

Rural life in the Gambia is simple and rather devoid of many amenities that people living in the cities can have access to. Briefly put, rural life in the Gambia is pretty simple. 
 

What are the pros of rural life?

You can have several benefits of living in a rural area. Some of the benefits include space to grow your food, keep cattle, a fresh atmosphere, clean drinking water, fresh air to breathe, and so on. 
 

What are the cons of living in a rural setting?

Several hazards surrounding life in rural settings include proximity to wildlife, slow or inaccessible internet and cable, slow response to emergencies, low personal safety, and intense winters that can potentially halt life during the season. 
 

What are some of the challenges rural people face in the Gambia?

A few major challenges include acute poverty, low wages, lack of employment and business opportunities, lack of health and education facilities, and domestic violence.
 

How do inward remittances help rural people address their problems?

Inward remittances ensure people take self-motivated initiatives to address the challenges they face in healthcare and education, commuting, more enlightenment, and an elevated living standard.


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