Sustainable LivingHow important is creating awareness of overpopulation?Overpopulation refers to a population which exceeds its sustainable size within a particular environment or habitat(1). This primarily happens when birth rate far exceeds the death rate. Pakistan is a developing country. The population of developing countries like Pakistan is growing rapidly which has caused many areas left being overpopulated. The aim of this report is to provide effective and logical arguments along with references, facts and figures which will make readers both national and international, understand the reasons of overpopulation and persuade them to at least try to decrease overpopulation.
Overpopulation is a serious problem which needs to be addressed as soon as possible for the betterment of environment and generations to come. Globally many countries have launched campaigns against overpopulation but this is yet to happen in Pakistan. Pakistan is the 6th most populated country in the world with it’s population density being 228/square km as compared to USA’s 35/square km and Canada’s 4/square km.
Pakistan’s population is one of the fastest growing in the world with it’s growth being 1.93% as compared to USA’s 0.71% and Canada’s 0.90%(2). This is the comparison with some western countries, Pakistan is more densely populated than many of the European Union. Nationally Pakistan’s population is distributed quite unevenly. Despite being Pakistan’s largest province in terms of area Balochistan is the least populated province with its total population of nearly 12 million as compared to Punjab’s 110 million, Sindh’s 48 million and Khyber Pakhtun Khwa’s 30.5 million(3). Most of the populated countries of Pakistan’s lie in Punjab and Sindh for example Karachi with it’s population of 11,624,219, Lahore with it’s population of 6,310,888 as compared to 733,675 population of Quetta, the most populated city of Balochistan(4).From my personal perspective I believe that globally many nations have identified this problem and are trying to reduce this problem but unfortunately nothing of this sort has happened in Pakistan. I have personally seen the living conditions of people in densely populated areas. These areas contain cheap, crammed houses built from bad materials which often tend to break under a storm or heavy rainfall. Many people live here with their parents and children in a space no more than one room, and they feed on unhealthy and unhygienic food. Overpopulation main cause is the rise in birth rate and decline in death rate which results in population exceeding the number of resources and area. Overpopulation has a many number of cause, one of the primary causes of overpopulation in Pakistan is the lack of family planning as most of the people living in Pakistan believe in Islam and take religion very seriously, most of the people misinterpret the teachings and believe that family planning is not allowed in Islam, this encourages people to have children without planning for them. Another cause is literacy rate, only 58% of population of Pakistan is literate(5). Most of the people do not know about overpopulation, what kind of effects it has, what are the ways to reduce it, so they end up having more children. Another cause is the mindset of the majority of the population, this is primarily due to the lack of education. Many people in Pakistan especially the people of rural areas believe they are superior than women which results in women having inferiority complexes and their rights being denied, so many people keep having children until they get a son who can carry their family forward, earn money for them which they all believe a women can not do. They also believe that when a girl marries she loses her surname and acquires the name of her husband which leads them to believe that a boy is better than a girl and this further encourages the people to keep having children until they finally get the son they so longed for.Pakistan is primarily an agricultural country whose economy depends a lot on its agro based industries. Most of the farmers in Pakistan are poorer and their work is also really labour intensive. They believe that as many workers will be in their farms helping them the more crops they will produce which will result in more money earned. As most of the farmers are poor they cannot afford to hire people on wages so they resort to a more accessible solution which is having more children. More children means more worker and due to the lack of education and family planning they do not get to know about the effects of overpopulation and end up conceiving more. Another cause of overpopulation is early marriages. Most girls in Pakistan especially in rural areas are seen as a responsibility on parent to get them married and settle them so they can be freed of their responsibilities. Many girls in the rural areas of Pakistan are married even as low of 15 years of age. The young age of the bride means more fertile years of the bride, this results in the young girls having more children, it is very common in Pakistan for a couple to have more than 5 children. Most of the people in Pakistan are muslims, as Islam allows a muslim to marry up to 4 women at a time if the man thinks he can handle all of them, divide his time and resources equally amongst them and keep the integrity of his house intact, so many of the people have more wives and so they conceive more children.One cause for overpopulation is rural-urban migration, for example Lahore is the capital of Punjab and is a hub for market and tourists. The better lifestyle, more job opportunities are some of the many pull factors which persuade the people living in farms and rural areas to travel to Lahore. This seems good but a lot of migration to Lahore has caused it to become overpopulated and overcrowded in many of it’s areas where now people are having trouble getting their basic necessities. The same thing has happened to all of the major cities of Pakistan.A minor causes of having high birth rate which results to overpopulation are better medical facilities in urban areas. Better facilities means less infant mortality rate as compared to death rate which results in overpopulation. The global infant mortality rate fell from 18.2% in 1960 to 4.3% in 2015(6).There are also a lot of consequences of overpopulation. As there is a higher birth rate more people migrate to an urban city for employment, as are there more competitors for a job many people are left unemployed. As there are more people now there is a constant need for basic facilities like roads, housing schemes, educational and medical institutes, recreational facilities etcetera in urban areas, this results on deforestation and in rural there is a constant need to provide food ingredients, this also result in deforestation and as a result many trees are cut which leave many animals homeless.Another consequence is that as population increases the mouths to feed also increases as many people on Pakistan have low per capita income many of the people are left unfed, this results in a stunted growth of children and many disease being inflicted as many people resort to eat unhygienic food to satisfy their appetite. As more people are born, more people are left without their basic necessities, so it fan be rightly said that overpopulation encourages poverty. Another consequence is the depletion of natural resources. Natural resources are finite. As the population increases so does the need of services like gas and electricity which depend on natural resources like coal and natural gas, this results in a rapid depletion of natural resources. One major consequence of overpopulation is that it results in pollution and degrades the environment. With more population there are more number of industries which cause air pollution through it’s smoke and water pollution through it’s waste. The number of cars have also greatly increased primarily due to increase in population, the smoke from it’s car has caused air pollution and has badly affected the quality of air. These emissions of harmful gas are causing global warming and climatic change, therefore greatly harming and degrading the environment. Overpopulation also causes pressure to the economy.There can also be many future consequences of overpopulation. It is projected that by 2050 world population will reach 9.7 billion(7). More population will mean more need of land and that much population surely suggests further reduction of forests and agricultural land. With this many people and the modernization means that many people will be left unemployed. With less food resources and higher demand there will be constant struggle and this will eventually result in people opting to steal these resources so there will be a rise in crime rate. As more people will be needed to housed the houses of especially middle-class residents will be small and crammed. As more land will be cleared more plants and animal species will become endangered or even become extinct. Every country can become so overcrowded that they will eventually have to resort to one-child policy like China to control the population.To reduce the birth rate and eventually slow overpopulation there is a need of a certain course of action in both national and international level. For international level famous and powerful organization like United Nations should hold a seminar which should be streamed all around the world where they create awareness and talk about ways to reduce overpopulation like the use of family planning and contraceptives. Globally countries should decide to add basic sex education into their curriculum as many teenagers have insufficient information regarding contraceptives and they are too embarrassed to ask about it to anyone. They should put advertisements on websites which can be viewed from the whole world.Pakistan is a strictly following muslim country, so the government should talk to a learned and famous religious islamic scholar who can talk to especially illiterate and poor people and clear their misconceptions about the use of family planning programs in the light of religion. Government should launch an effective awareness campaign which will tour the whole country and will tell people about the consequences of overpopulation and explain to them the importance of family planning and contraceptives in a logical way. There should be advertisements on television. There should be a regular checking on the population. Pakistan complete census was done in 2017 after 1998(8). Through regular checking there should be maintained of population by making houses and other facilities before to reduce overcrowding. Most of the population in Pakistan is illiterate, so there should be a serious attempt to revive educations and government should pass a law making it compulsory for the children irrespective of their gender to attend school, this will surely help to decrease overpopulation as this was one of the major reasons.In the light of above facts, arguments causes and consequences given I will like to reiterate the importance of creating awareness of overpopulation. By creating awareness many people both nationally and internationally will recognize the negative consequences and will try to slow overpopulation and by using a course of action like the one provided above many of the negative consequences can be hopefully averted.References