KISUMU, Kenya, Jul 12 – An expert is warning that the country’s resources might increasingly become scarce as population continues to rise exponentially every decade.
Bernard Kigen, Kisumu Programme Coordinator for the National Council for Population and Development says the country’s population is growing at an alarming rate and is projected to rise higher when the country goes to census next month.
Speaking on Thursday in Nyalenda slums in Kisumu to mark World Population Day, Kigen said the population growth rate is worrying since it will outweigh the resources at the disposal of the government to run development and social security programs.
“Actually our population is growing very fast, like in 1997, the population was around 20 million and right now we are projected at around 52 million,” he noted.
He said the resources in the country will be overstretched to accommodate the high population rate.
Kigen said the government must now plan on how best to sensitize its citizens on a manageable family number.
“We are not actually telling people to control the number of children they are having, but we are telling them they should give birth to the number of children that they would be at a position to manage,” he remarked.
Kigen said a bloated population will stagnate national development ad expose citizens to poverty and sufferings.
He told the public to ignore calls from politicians who occasionally urge them to give birth to more children to secure regional, community, and tribal interests in the national political arena.
“The message from politicians is that they want to use the population as a voting machine, but the message we are telling people they should not allow themselves to be used,” he observed.
He said a manageable family number requires that basic needs, education, healthcare and food should be provided without straining on the resources at the family’s disposal.
Kigen announced that Kenya will this year in November convene a high-level conference to advance the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) action plan.
2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD launch which took place in Cairo in 1994.