Civic Education Essay

Topics: Poverty, Population, Demography Pages: 5 (1567 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Since independence in 1964, Zambia’s population been increasing rapidly especially in urban areas. This has had implications on the provision of social services and employment. It is for this reason that this essay critically analyses the implications of rapid urban population growth since 1964 in Zambia and will show how economic development can help reduce Zambia’s population. The essay first defines the key terms which are population and economic development. Population is defined by William and Ann (2006; 59) that “a population consists of all the members of a single species living in a specific area at the same time. Generally population is the number of people living in a particular geographical area at a given time”. Zambia’s population stands at approximately 13,046,508. Economic development is the increase in living standards, improvement in self-esteem needs and freedom from oppression as well as a greater choice (Todaro and Smith: 2009). It relates to growth of human capital indexes. It also implies the changes in income saving and investment along with socio-economic structure of the country. According to projections from the United Nations, Zambia’s population is projected to increase 941% by the end of the century. 64% of Zambia’s population live below the poverty line and the majority in urban areas who usually start their lives in slum areas with poor access to water, sanitation, health care facilities and employment. Zambia is one of the most urbanised countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with 35% of the population living in urban areas ( Zambia’s continuous increase in population size has put pressure on an already overburdened socio-economic resource base particularly in core development sectors such as education, health and food security. Urban population has grown rapidly in Zambia due to several pull factors. These pull factors include mineral resources, availability of manufacturing industries for employment, transport and communication accessibility and availability of social services. Others include good climate and fertile soil. Therefore people move to urban areas because of the above factors However, population growth has implications, Todaro and Smith (2009; 468), state that “rapidly growing population have led to land, water and fuel wood shortages in rural areas and urban health crises stemming from lack of sanitation and clean water”. Sanitation is one of the implications of urban population growth. This is due to unplanned settlements, Underdeveloped water and sanitation systems place a burden on household health. Poor sanitation and unsafe water sources increases for the risk of water borne diseases. Therefore households especially in slums or shanty compounds that are highly populated are more exposed to the risk diseases like dysentery and cholera. One of the implications of rapid urban population is overcrowding and creation of squatter compounds (shanty compounds). This is because rapid population growth in urban areas places a burden on urban infrastructure such as housing, water and sanitation and energy. Therefore, this pressure will worsen the poor living conditions for the low income populations. This forces people to live in slums which are overcrowded, have inadequate shelter, lack clean water and adequate sanitation and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse (Ministry of Finance and National Planning; 2010). United Nations Development Programme (2004) further writes that poor people take the blunt of sub- standard housing, inadequate or polluted water, lack of sanitation and solid waste disposal outdoor and indoor air pollution (from low quality cooking and heating fuels). The increase in urban population has also led to the depletion of natural resources such as trees and forests. This is because trees are cut down in large masses so that land can be created for people to build houses. The other reason is that there is a heavy dependency on solid fuels...
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