The world’s population which currently stands at 7.4 billion, is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050 and exceed 11 billion in 2100, the United Nations projects.
Africa’s population could grow three times more than the current 1.2 billion to reach three billion to 6.1 billion by 2100, if the birth rates remain high, World Health Organization says.
There are rising concerns that uncontrolled population growth will hinder attainment of development and health goals in Africa and consequently affect development in the world. Several studies recommend effective modern methods of contraception, as a means to keep the population in check as observed in other parts of the world.
Large population bad for the world!
Large populations have a detrimental effect on our environment and are contributor to climate change. With people cutting trees to create space for more buildings, the biodiversity is under danger every year. It goes without saying that the increasing landfills, inadequate water, food, and soil pollution, are as a result of increased population.
Populations also lead to economic stagnation as there are more people than the resources available to cater for them. There is an upsurge of slum populations, overcrowded schools, and health facilities leading to faster wearing out of public infrastructure as well as unemployment. With a majority of young people unemployed, crime rates and other socio-economic tensions also increase and could lead to political instability if not handled on time.
Each birth is associated with a risk of death or disability and this are commonly experienced in countries with poor health-care systems.
What to do?
According to Scientific American, a number of ways can help address the situation including empowering women educationally, economically, socially and politically. “They must also be given easy and affordable access to contraceptives.” The organization said that already, some countries such as Mauritius and Tunisia have lowered their fertility rates from six to 1.5 and from seven to two respectively.
In addition to empowering women, men should also be encouraged to discuss family planning with their wives instead of taking sole control over the decision to have children. Ultimately, these plans should be pushed by the government and leaders must encourage public and policy conversations about slower population growth.