SOCIETY MATTERS:Why we should have few children

Human production is important within all human cultures. This in fact is an understatement. It is more accurate to say that reproduction is central to all human cultures. So central that it shapes, affects and influences most other aspects of culture.

Human production is important within all human cultures. This in fact is an understatement. It is more accurate to say that reproduction is central to all human cultures. So central that it shapes, affects and influences most other aspects of culture.

It is therefore not surprising that infertility is perceived with varying degrees of seriousness as a problem within all cultures and every child that comes into the family is joyfully welcomed.

It is good to have children and every newborn should be celebrated. However, is it wise if having many children is going to lead you into selling part of your land, mortgaging the rest and taking a loan from a microfinance company? Or worse, failing to cater for that child?

There have been many efforts by the government to call upon the citizens of this country to produce only children they can ably support.

However, some parents with conservative thinking will tell you that if it is all about producing children they are able to support, they can produce as many as they want because they are, probably, well off.

Some go an extra mile of saying that since it is God who gives the children, He will also provide for them. They forget that these children will need earthly needs like a good education and good feeding, among others.

These people forget that the act of producing many children leads to the rapid population growth which undermines the country’s efforts to eradicate poverty, provide quality social services and puts enormous stress on land and other resources.

Although the government of Rwanda officially adopted a population policy to reduce fertility in 1996, the recent released Demographic Health Survey (DHS) indicates that there has not been any progress in the reduction in the Total Fertility Rate as of yet.

In the 2005 DHS, Rwanda’s Total Fertility Rate stood at 6.1 children per woman, slightly higher than in the previous survey (Total Fertility Rate of 5.8 in 2000), and about the same as the DHS conducted in the early 1990s.

This shows that Rwandan parents have not yet adopted the policy which would help contain rapid population growth.

Apart from producing many children being a future burden to the government, it also leads to reduced ability to cater well for those many children.

Even if you had a lot of money, you cannot be able to raise ten children in a way that you would have wanted or on the acceptable standards like you would have with two children.

A well brought up child who is able to receive a very good education up to at least university level will have cost one a lot of money and this is the reason why the numbers of school going children in Rwanda, and many other African countries, drop as the level of education increases.

Education statistics show that as school going children go up from primary level to university level, the numbers of students forced to abandon school increase on every level.
Human life is getting increasingly expensive to maintain and is threatened by many challenges like climate change, poverty, disease and the shortage of land, among others.

So people with many children are very vulnerable to these challenges.

It is here that I believe that if our society is to see development, people in Rwanda should adopt good family planning methods.

It is through this initiative that our children will be able to have a desirable and comfortable life that every child would want to find themselves in when they grow up.
charlesprince@gmail.com

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