#Article (Archive)

Rapid Population Growth challenges

Jul 11, 2012, 1:23 PM

The country’s population was about half a million, some 30 years ago, and with few public infrastructures such as schools and hospitals.

But with an increase in population growth to 1.5 million, dependency on the country’s natural resources would be correspondingly increased.

Population and development goes side by side and, in some areas, development is determined or measured by population density, meaning the higher the population the more social amenities are needed to cater for the demands of the population.

More than ever before, addressing current population trends and dynamics in relation to sustainable socioeconomic and environmental development becomes pertinent.

In its March 2012 report on The Gambia, the International Monetary Fund revealed that majority of Gambia’s 1.8 million people still live in poverty despite an increment in primary school enrolment and completion, as well as an improvement in immunization, child and maternal mortality.

We hope that with the launching of a new poverty reduction strategy, the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) which places further emphasis on agriculture, as well as investment in infrastructure, thepoverty gap in the country might reduce.

In a world that currently battles with the kind of serious problems such as drug trafficking and abuse, global warming, increasing crime rates, inadequate foodsecurity leading to starvation in many developing nations, each of which is at least to some extent due to growing world population, it is hard to imagine anyone opposing restraints on population controls.

Many countries and cities are becoming overpopulated, thus creating more challenges for their economies more than ever before.

Back home in The Gambia, the vast majority of our population are said to be resident in the urban areas, with huge challenges for our development programmes.

The revised National Population Policy should also be implemented to cater for the benefit of all living in The Gambia.