Ethiopia’s Population Growth-It’s Consequence




The population of Ethiopia is growing and close to reaching the 100 million mark. My own contemporaries have become grandparents like myself. I have four adult children. Three of them have children of their own. I have somehow contributed to the increase, but on the larger scale, the climb is concerning. The population is growing exponentially.

With lower mortality rates than a few years ago, the number is bound to increase in the country. This coupled with the age-old culture of bearing a lot of children, usually more than two, has led the country to grapple with overpopulation.

The capital city is more affected than other smaller towns and villages for at least two reasons. The pull factor and the push factors are at play. Push and pull factors are factors which either compellingly push people into migration or attract them. A push factor is forceful, and a factor which relates to the country from which a person migrates. It is generally some problem which results in people wanting to move.

People from all regional states come to Addis Abeba, with hopes as big as the bags they pack. A promise of a better life and more job opportunities. But as people young and old crowd the city, it poses other challenges for the city administration.

There is no denying that in an agrarian economy if the land is not owned by the farmer because of government policies, people will have no option but to move to cities and big towns. When these people arrive in the city in huge numbers, they overpopulate the city and pose challenges to management as they struggle to settle in, find a job, and a place to live.

This will evidently increase the population of the towns and cities under consideration. The effects are cumulative. Demand for goods and services will soar higher than their supply. More often than not the demands cannot be met.

Even basic needs such as housing and sanitation will be difficult to provide. Not to mention the price of rent in the city that is causing a lot of havoc on residents because of high prices they need to pay for seemingly low quality and tight spaces.

The waste disposal system for over-packed cities is a headache to manage for any administration. As the people pack into the city this must be considered. Especially, since the Qoshe landslide disaster that claimed the lives of hundreds of citizens happened at a dumpsite that was filled above its capacity.

The increase of population is a liability. But this trend puts pressure on the ruling party and prompts party members to be susceptible to compete for self-enrichment at all cost. This might aggravate the problems that the administration is already working on to eradicate.

Corruption becomes rampant. People in high positions and officials fall into the booby trap of using their office or authority and responsibility for their personal benefits. The lack of transparency and maladministration go unheeded. As the population increase it will cause a scarcity of resources, and sink the country deeper into issues of corruption and selfishness.

The other count of the population growth is also very critical from the unemployment perspective. Since the country is overpopulated, it gives rise to unemployment as there are fewer jobs available to support the large number of job-seekers. When a single vacant job position posts are put up, thousands of job-seekers are ready to apply. Unemployment also leads to a spike in crime amongst the society, people without jobs will steal to feed their family and provide the basic amenities of life.

Overpopulation can be a breeding ground for conflict, when resources, especially in African countries become strained. Conflicts over issues such as water become a source of contention between countries, which could result in the outbreak of wars. It causes diseases to spread and makes them harder to control. Starvation will also be a plaguing issue for the government to deal with. Poverty will be extensive, this is the downfall of a country facing overpopulation.

All of this will only become worse if solutions are not sought out for the factors affecting our population. We can no longer prevent it, but there are ways to control it from having a profund effect on the economy.



By Girma Feyissa


Published on Apr 08,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 883]


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