By Joel Chirwa
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri has appealed to Malawians to adopt family planning methods to curb population growth which is a threat to economic and social fabric of the country.
He made the remarks Tuesday at Mkombezi in Rumphi during the installation of Mtima Gondwe as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe.
Phiri said the population growth trends of the country are eroding economic gains and increasing unnecessary demands for social and economic services.
“Look, we occupy the same land area. This is not in any way increasing in size. It remains static, but our birth rate it is not in tandem with the resources we generate and social development needs we want to satisfy.
“We may be blaming government that it is doing little in the provision of health services and construction of school blocks,” the Minister explained.
He gave an example of Mangochi District which has one of the highest birth rate in the country.
“The time I visited Mangochi District Hospital, we discovered that on that day there were 150 women in maternity ward due to give birth, and 170 in the waiting home. When I asked about the expected births per day, I was told it was 40 babies.
“In education sector, recommended teacher pupil ratio is 1 to 40-60. Now, looking at Mangochi scenario will mean that government will have to construct a classroom on daily basis,” he said.
Malawi has the size land area of 118,000 square kilometres and currently has a population of 18 million according to World Population Review, from 6 million when the country attained independence from the British Colonialists in 1964.-MANA