At close to nine million people and with a population density of about 300 people per square kilometer, further compounded by a growth rate that has climbed to an all time high of 3.2 percent per annum - one of the highest on the African continent - we need to do something to arrest this population spiral before it gets out of hand.
These are sentiments expressed by many senior government officials, including the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, James Musoni, and the Minister of Health, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo. And well might these two be most concerned; their ambits include providing services to every single Rwandan, not just a section of us, so that they have to make do with the available resources suffice for us all. Their jobs cannot be easy to cater for us all satisfactorily without trying to make it a juggler’s act: providing for so many with so little can only be brought off successfully by a wise conjurer.
It is therefore in the context of provision of services that we should sensitise fellow Rwandans. The land mass that Rwanda possesses is permanently fixed, and we cannot do anything about that. In fact one can even argue that it can decrease, if we can term abuse of the environment as something that can reduce the value of the land we hold thus lessening its usability.
It is in the matter of changing the mindset of Rwandans regarding the size of family to cater for that will save us all. The mathematics is simply that when one has a small family to look after, the demands are less on that person than the one who has many. Willy nilly, the person with a larger family will forego many things that would enrich the family members more, like quality education and premium health care, in the sheer struggle to put food on the table.
It is unlikely that the people reading this right now are insensitive of this; it is for the benefit of the masses that concern mounts. Every enlightened Rwandan should take it upon themselves to educate, advise, and counsel those many, as they obviously will drag everyone down the road of non-achievement, however much government sweats to uplift their living standards.