Statistics show that in Burundi demographic pressure takes a high rate while there is a scarcity of natural resources. Nowadays, living conditions are actually difficult. Thus, the government should take good measures to manage the situation before things get worse and worse-by Yves Didier Irakoze
According to René Manirakiza, Doctor and Specialist in Population Development, the population in Burundi is estimated at 8 million of inhabitants with 2.5% of growth rhythm per year. As such, the number of the population will double in 2037 and will be 16million.
At the dawn of the 2nd world war, the rhythm of the population growth was just weak for many reasons like epidemic diseases, hunger, starvation…but due to the good Belgian policy to fight against starvation and improve people’s welfare conditions through modern medicine, the mortality rate was reduced.
“In Burundi, in the 1950’s there was a considerable growth which is still observed today because the population was estimated at 2 million and now it is at 8 million; you can imagine that in less than 60 years the population has been multiplied with 4,” points out Manirakiza.
He explains that the average number of children per woman in Burundi is more than six. To that extent, Burundi is among six countries of the world which are the most fertile in terms of children. Though we record a high mortality rate, mortality has decreased because of medicine advancement and progress, for example, the widespread use of vaccines to fight against several diseases.
“The number of the surviving population increases; that’s the reason why the growth rate is exponential. This growth is marked by the fact that the population is becoming younger and younger as the birth rate is continuing to increase. As you already know life expectancy is not high; then, the pyramid is thin out at the top,” he declares
Consequences are very enormous
Overpopulation has a big impact on natural resources and various domains.
“In Burundi the agricultural sector occupies the first place and requires many natural resources like lands whereas there are few to satisfy the increasing population. There are land- based conflicts and this may result in insecurity problems,” states Manirakiza.
He also adds that when people consume the energy of wood there is an impact on forest and environment degradation. It is also impossible to leave some fields lying fallow as people use some wood to build houses and use natural forests for their agriculture. So, there is soil degradation and consequently there is a production decrease.
And commenting on education, Manirakiza has this to say:
“Many children, many classes and many teachers need to be financially supported. So, our country with a lack of enough means won’t be able to support the sector of education appropriately. If children or people do not get enough education, the government will fail in terms of development. The industrial sector or any other sector can’t improve to create employment without educated people. So, there will be an increasing problem of unemployment,” highlights Manirakiza.
Everyone should be involved
“Stopping and limiting the demographic pressure right now is very difficult. However, it is better to sensitize people to the importance of family planning,” indicates Manirakiza
To this, there must be much involvement and commitment of people who should in turn, be supported effectively by the government. That latter should also adopt appropriate strong measures for a good implementation of family planning policy all over the country. It should also multiply a lot of sectors to generate employment in the country.