It's 3pm on this 21st July 2010.It just rained a few minutes ago and I feel happier being in the town center. I walked around Kampala streets doing exactly nothing. I was at Uganda house when it almost turned grey and later rained. I think this heavy rains washed off the blood which was still clotting from more than 70 people bombed on 11th July 2010.
The nation is still mourning and living in fear--just like the terrorist militants wanted. Uganda is still in fear and from my observation, almost every body lives in fear, however there are some so called brave Ugandans who doesn't care any more. They simply say life must go on.
When you walk in Kampala streets and its suburbs, you see military men and other security agents armed to teeth.They look very tired and hostile though peaceful during daytime, they also seem to be with no hope just like many Ugandans despite of the continued propaganda from the Government of Uganda telling citizens that tomorrow will be a better day.
I live by several rules. One of them is to assume that government and religious leaders never tell the truth. The truth is that tomorrow definitely will not be a better day. On the other hand, we could have a brighter future if we changed our way of thinking.
-> Tomorrow would be a better day if we withdrew our "peacekeeping" troops from Somalia.
-> Tomorrow would be a better day if the government would promote a culture of science and rationality--not religious ideas which lead to violence.
-> Tomorrow would be a better day if we adopted a one-child-per-family policy.
Here is how we stand in relation to the top three population-growth nations in the world:
Niger . . . 3.66%
Uganda . . 3.563%
Burundi . . 3.561%
Numbers of people are growing, but forest area and farmland is shrinking, water supply isn't increasing.
Let's compare Uganda with America. America is on the decline because of overpopulation, and is one of the major sources of global warming. Most of their landfills are full. Whether still open or not, landfills are contaminating the water supply. Their prisons are full with having the highest incarceration rate in the world. 2,300,000 mostly young people and people of colour languish in American prisons, largely because of their stupid drug war--which Uganda has mindlessly adopted as well.
In America, untold millions of young adults are still living with their families because of unemployment or low-paying part-time jobs. Then there's the homeless problem. Assessing the number of homeless is quite difficult, but in one study from Oct 2007-Oct 2008, 1.6 million persons relied on their shelter system. This does not include hundreds of thousands who do not wish to use such shelter, preferring, instead, to sleep under bridges, in forested areas, abandoned housing, abandoned vehicles, etc. Before the Reagan Administration, this was far less the case. In Washington, D.C., homeless black men sleep on grates on the pavements which, in the winter, carries the exhaust of warm government buildings. In Washington, D.C., you will never see a homeless white man--as told to me by a friend of mine who lived in DC.
My American friend tells me that he has no hope for his country--things are getting worse and will continue to get worse. The population growth rate of the United States almost 1%. Finland, which enjoys one of the highest standards of living, has a population growth rate of 0.084%. Or, in other words: population stability.
A country that has a zero population growth rate (as all countries should) can afford to feed, house and educate all of its citizens without investing enormous amounts of capital in just providing for an increasing population. But then, Finland is also a solidly secular nation--meaning, religion is of very low importance and getting less important every year. Therefore, you don't have priests going around demanding: "Be fruitful and multiply!".
Finland is the definition of a democracy with no discrimination against people because of gender or sexual orientation. Yes, as is the case in every nation on earth, there is racial discrimination--not so much because of skin colour, but fear of outsiders. Every year, the Economist magazine rates Finland has having the most ethical government among all nations. Uganda, a heavily Christian nation, has one of the most corrupt governments in the world. Every Finnish citizen is valued--unlike millions of American citizens and at least half the population of Uganda!
The land area of Uganda is about the same as the state of Oregon on the West Coast of USA. But that state has only one-tenth the population of Uganda.
The population of Uganda is 3,900,000, which means, at a growth rate of 3.563% every year, we have added 138,957 people to our troubled nation--and making it worse. "Population growth rate" is different from "fertility rate." Population growth is the overall increase in population, for whatever reason: immigration, emigration, births and deaths.
When human populations grow, other populations suffer. Forest areas and wildlife decrease in size. Arable land decreases in area, even though there are more mouths to feed every day, every week, every year. With limited resources for a growing population, the prices of food, rent, building materials, medical services, and everything else increases. Therefore, poverty increases while human happiness decreases because the cause of violence and fear increases.
Each year, approximately 150,000 new Ugandans will be demanding educational services. Demand as much as they want, they won't get it. As is the case in Nigeria, the school system in Uganda is deteriorating. As in Nigeria, only 50% of Ugandans are literate. Even with the impending advent of oil production, both corruption and overpopulation will continue the decline in Uganda's ability to educate every citizen.
No, there is no hope for Uganda as long as it continues to increase in population. If hope is to be realised in Uganda, the people of my country must bear no more than one child per couple, and must respect, celebrate and honour those who have no children.