A blueprint to halt Kenya’s rapidly growing population was on Tuesday rolled out with calls for citizens to return to family planning methods.
The Population Policy for National Development officially launched by Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya proposes to cut by half the average number of children that Kenyan women can give birth to.
The move is intended to reverse the rapid population growth within the next decade.
The policy, which has been developed by the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) proposes that the average Kenyan woman gives birth to 2.6 children over their reproductive age of between 15 to 49 years. Currently, the women give birth to an average of 4.6 children.
The policy warns that the population will hit the 77 million mark by 2030 when Kenya’s economic blue-print, Vision 2030, expires.
Speaking during the launch, Planning Permanent secretary Dr Edward Sambili called on young couples to take family planning method seriously if the country to reverse the rapid population growth.
The 2009 Population and Housing Census results released in August 2010 revealed that Kenya’s population had risen by ten million people since the last count in 1999, an average of one million people per year.
Dr Sambili called for urgent measures to reverse the population growth.
The occasion was also used to celebrate NCPD’s attainment of the ISO certification.
“I am asking young couples to embrace family planning methods if the nation is to successfully confront the challenges caused by this increase in our population,” the PS advised.
Mr Oparanya said the policy will go a long way in managing the population in order to ensure that Kenyans en joy quality life.
MPs passed the policy in October this year, two months after it had been tabled in Parliament by the Planning minister.
According to the Deputy Director in charge of Research and Policy Development at NCPD Ms Vane Lumumba, the council will distribute the policy across the country to boost ongoing programmes aimed at controlling the country’s population such as the National Family Planning campaign.
The policy will be disseminated in simple language from the national level all the way to the county and community levels.
“Over the last ten or so years, Kenya has recorded progress on the population front. The population management in Kenya unreservedly requires unity of purpose to confront the new challenges coming into play with the growth in our numbers,” she stated.