Malawi’s population, according to the recent report by National Statistical Office (NSO) in a decade has increased by 35 percent which was almost half of the population 10 years ago. The preliminary report on the census by NSO says that now population is at 17.5 million.
The report indicates that Malawi’s population density continues to grow, thereby putting pressure on land which is bad news. If we do not do anything to control population boom, it means in the next decade we should expect our population to increase by more than 35 percent again yet we will all have to live on the same land and use the same resources.
If this population boom is unchecked, it will cause an environmental catastrophe. This is reasonable fear as the health of our environment is now decreasing.
As our population is growing so fast, the limits of essential Malawi’s resources such as forests and fisheries are becoming more obvious. No need of a calculator or a formula to notice that more people means more resources needed but more waste created.
As more land is needed for cultivation and settlement, wildlife is losing its home. If we fail to control our population now, we will have no answers to tell our children as they will experience worse environmental effects in the name of climate change which is spreading like wildfire.
Our children will just be seeing or hearing about animals as all parks and protected areas will be taken for human activities.
According to the Global Outlook for Water Resources to the year 2025, it is estimated that by 2025, more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability and human demand for water will account for 70 percent of all available freshwater.
As overpopulation drives resources and basic necessities, such as food and water to become scarce, there will be increased competitiveness for these resources.
This indirectly leads to elevated crime rates due to drug cartels and theft by people in order to survive.
Let us act now on population boom as it is the pressing environmental issues, silently aggravating the forces behind global warming, environmental pollution, and habitat loss among others.
Many studies indicate that developing countries like Malawi tend to have higher birth rates due to poverty and lower access to family planning and education. These are direct results of population boom. n