Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

On World Population Day

11th July is celebrated as World Population Day around the world to enhance awareness regarding issues that related to population and their relations to the environment and development. It was basically established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987. By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day every year on 11th July.
One of the main issues that the societies face today is the rise in population. The size of population greatly influences the nation. In today’s societies, the size of population has to be maintained as per the resources of the state because the larger population does not always bring prosperity. There are many examples wherein the states do not have enough resources as per their large population and, therefore, they suffer. It is important to manage the population and try to keep it under control, otherwise, it may give rise to different sorts of problems which would prove to a hurdle in the way of development and progress of the nation. Therefore, if a country has enough resources to support large population it may keep that population, but states that cannot support larger populations should limit their population, or else, they will suffer from different types of economic and social problems.
Afghanistan is one of the same sorts of countries that suffer from myriads of economic and social problems. Severe poverty prevails in most parts of country because of continuous wars and natural catastrophes. The political and economic infrastructures are almost non-existent. In such circumstances Afghanistan is having a considerable population. The number of people living in Afghanistan at the moment is more than 29 million, which is just a rough estimate.
As a matter of fact, this number is deduced from an earlier census that was half-finished, and does not represent Afghan population correctly. The actual number may be more than the one mentioned above. It has been one of the greatest misfortunes of the country that there has not been any comprehensible scientific population census in the country, which is really necessary for better political, social and economic decision making. It is really difficult to administer a population without knowing its composition correctly.
Regrettably, the population growth rate in Afghanistan has been in elevation, as well. Currently if is accepted that the population of Afghanistan is around 29 million, in 2025 it may reach to more than 35 million. This clearly indicates the serious nature of the growth taking place in the country. Definitely, this growth rate is going to test the capabilities of Afghan resources and Afghan government in the times to come.
The most dominant reason behind the rapid population growth in Afghanistan is that the people are not cognizant of the issue at all. Most of them consider children as the blessing and never ever think that they can turn into curse if not nourished properly and there are not enough resources to feed them, educate them and make them responsible members of the society. Ill-fatedly, most of the people in the country do not know that many of the problems that prevail in their personal lives and in the country are linked to unchecked population growth.
Especially, the people belonging to the remote areas of the country do not understand what their basic right and responsibilities are. It is, therefore, impossible to expect from them to have right understanding of the issue. Unfortunately, even the well-educated people in the urban areas do not deliberate on this issue completely. One of the greatest troubles with the Afghan society is that it has been vehemently dominated by strict tribal norms and values and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.
Therefore, most of the people consider it against their traditional norms or religious teachings to have a family planning. They consider it a sin to go for birth control. There have been many occasions when such endeavors have been opposed violently. Furthermore, the rise in health facilities has been able to control the mortality rate to a certain extent, which would ultimately have effect on the growth rate.
Apart from that there are financial barriers that restrict the families to go for a luxury, like birth control. People thrive for their basic requirements like food, cloth and shelter; how should they cogitate about the problem which they consider very much supplementary in nature?
Population growth rate in our country has been unchecked and can really lead to numerous problems. The government in this regard has to take serious and practical steps to control the issue as soon as possible. There should be intensive awareness programs for the people as a whole. Such programs should rather be started from the college and university level, wherein the citizens must be given complete understanding of threats that can be faced because of unchecked population growth. As far as the remote areas are considered, the endeavors must be doubled as in such areas it is not just about communicating the message to the families; rather the endeavors must go through strict and narrow-minded tribal norms and religious teachings.