Malawi’s population, at the latest recording stands at 17.6 million, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO). By 2030, NSO projects it to be at 40 million people. It’s not long ago that we hovered at 15 million. We are fast turning into an overcrowded arena while the resources meant to keep mankind safe and comfortable remain limited. We have overstretched our lands to the limit and they will not produce as they used to. Medical facilities have long become desolate from meager resources against the high demand. Take a visit a government learning facilities, in particular primary schools to see overcrowded classrooms against a lesser teacher ration. Rain patterns have long been disrupted with what environmentalists partly blame on wanton cutting down of trees. The general poverty outlook of this country is far from pleasing, yet, families continue to bear needless children in the name of multiplying like the sands of the shore.
I say needless because every project must have a purpose and ability for sustainability. What is the point of bearing those children ‘until the waist give in’-as some argue, when we cannot provide for them adequately in terms of nutritional meals, proper health, clothing and shelter? What is the point of family planning if we continue to boom the population and stain our resources? How long shall we blame government for failing to do A, B or C when it is also our responsibility to play a part?
Some countries decided to enforce a policy of particular number of children to arrest population booms in their countries. Some of these countries are developed with rich economies, but they realised that the only way to protect their resources towards progress is to enforce such. I, then, pause to wonder what Malawi is waiting for before it joined the list of countries with children policies. As compromised as we already are, what will this poor African become in a few years to come?
While our life expectancy is still low, currently at about 50, it evidently is doing little to arrest the increasing population. Meanwhile, it is growing.
According to Wikipedia, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom, Vietnam and others have done it or are still doing it. Some have a one child policy, others two children policy. We may also choose which line to tow to help our economy. There should be other success indicators rather than by the number of children ones sires of bears. Let us strive to work towards those and see where that will lead us. n