Zanzibar — PRESIDENT Ali Mohamed Shein, on Wednesday warned Tanzanians against high population growth, saying the government might fail to distribute the benefits of national economic growth unless the population growth of over three per cent was curtailed.
"We have started to feel the pinch of the rapid population growth... we are complaining of insufficient basic needs including land.
Zanzibar is estimated to have about 1.3 million people with 496 living on one square kilometre," Shein said in his speech at the launch of World Population report.
In the speech, read on his behalf by First Vice- President Seif Sharif Hamad at Mkwajuni village, north Unguja, Dr Shein observed that most of the emerging social and economical challenges were linked to uncontrolled population growth due to reluctance to use family planning methods.
"Many people in Zanzibar are still reluctant to go for family planning, particularly the long-term family planning methods... underage marriage coupled with insufficient knowledge on family planning methods remain a serious challenge," he said.
Averagely, each woman capable of having a child has five children in Zanzibar. Available statistics show that mothers have been interested in short term family methods against the long-term strategies.
"We need family planning to help us have better world of living as proved by several studies," charged President Shein. Shein said that both Zanzibar and Union government have been working hard to promote family planning and that reduction of maternal mortality is one of the achievements of the campaign, "but we need to do more to make sure that family planning is widely accepted."
Giving a short brief about the World Population- state Report 2012, with theme 'by choice, not by change: family planning, human rights and development,' Mr Khamis Mussa, Principal Secretary called for increased awareness about family planning particularly men who have been shunning the exercise.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Ms Maryam Khan appealed to Tanzanians to ensure family planning is promoted as one of the important means to fight poverty and curb maternal mortality.