By Rita Anyago, 2017 Re!gnite Africa Young Leader
Kampala has been my residential city since childhood and if I remember correctly, the city was not as overpopulated as it is today. The population growth rates and its effects is alarming to anyone concerned about the future of this country. The country currently boasts of over 38 million people and close to two million people live in Kampala.
Overpopulation is the undesirable condition where the number of existing human population exceeds the capacity of the earth. That means Kampala is smaller than the number of people residing in it. Over half of the Ugandans live here and this population size continues to grow by the day. The causes of overpopulation in Kampala are complex as affected by economic, political and social factors as below:
- Education: Research studies on population growth and reproductive health have revealed that education plays an important role in population. For instance if both spouses are educated, they tend to have few kids as compared to a family where both the spouses are illiterate. This leads to the next one, poverty.
- Poverty: Evidently, poor families in Kampala are big in numbers. Families living in slums have large families they care for. Additionally, people living in poverty do not have access to opportunities for education about family planning.
- Advance in technology: improved medical care has encouraged women to give birth anytime they wish to because they are sure that proper medical care is given to them
- Immigration: People move from villages to Kampala just because the city is the most famous part of the country. They move to the city in the hope of finding jobs
The result of this overpopulation is issues such as deforestation, unemployment, congestion and development of slums, among others. It is not easy to tackle all these challenges at once. However, government should do more to curb this problem before it gets out of hand. It can start by;
- Spreading awareness about overpopulation – most people are not really familiar with overpopulation and its negative effects
- Make family planning more available – many women want to stop producing children but don’t know where to start from.
- Make overpopulation awareness in schools a priority
- Working with religious institutions – most want to control their rate of birth because some religions don’t support family planning.
- Implementing new government policies, for example, refugee restriction