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Burkina Faso Essay Research Paper Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso Essay, Research Paper

Burkina Faso is a small country located in Western Africa, north of Ghana,

it’s total land area is 274,200 sq km. The terrain is mostly flat to

dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast. Some of it’s

natural resources are manganese, limestone, marbleand small deposits of

gold. The irrigated land in Burkina Faso is only a mere 160 sq km. The

population is 10,422,828 (July 1995 est.) of which 50% is under the age of


Burkina Faso is a country with a rapidly increasing population in relation

to the growth of food supply and other human necessities. The countries

population is growing rapidly and the country is not able to adequately

feed, shelter, and provide the basic human needs. The situation is not

improving, it is getting worse with each year. The very near future could

be disastrous for the people of Burkina Faso.

The possible solutions in overcoming this problem are not plentiful and

all have their drawbacks, and moral issues. One option would be to try to

increase the death rate, and at the same time lower the birth rate.

Another can be to try to raise the environmental limits so that food

supply would adequate. Or the other option can be that we do nothing and

wait. These are just some options that I think are the most applicable to

the case in which Burkina Faso is currently facing. Of all three the most

appealing solution to me is number one. That solution might be a little

slower then other options but I believe it is the best approach for the


The first option, to increase death rates and lower the birth rates would

be the best choice. This option would be best because of the situation

that is in Burkina Faso. The spread of HIV/AIDS has become an important

issue in Burkina Faso, where the national statistics estimate that between

4 and 7 percent of the population is seropositive. While these rates are

low in comparison to countries of East Africa, they place Burkina Faso

second after Cote d’Ivoire among West African countries most affected by

the epidemic. Burkina Faso’s health problems include a high prevalence of

many endemic diseases, poor case management by the health system and a

weak infrastructure, with health centres that are geographically or

financially inaccessible to most of those they are meant to serve. As a

result, the country has high infant and under-five mortality rates and, at

810 per 100,000 births, a very high maternal mortality rate. AIDS is

adding to the problem, as elsewhere in West Africa, s!

pread by the increase in population migration, the high rate of

sexually-transmitted diseases and poverty. In some areas, as many as 15 to

27 per cent of pregnant women are HIV-positive.

The government is trying to prevent the spread of diseases. They are

planning on developing different possibilities to cure the population. One

of the proposed projects would contain institution building activities at

the national level for both population policy and HIV/AIDS surveillance

and monitoring, including blood screening. Total project costs are

estimated to be $25.1 million, including an IDA credit of about $21.1

million. Through this they are helping the population increase.

I believe that it is important to first control the population and only

then put in projects which would prevent the spread of diseases and other

epidemics. Once the population is controlled then you can establish better

health conditions for the people, because it will have it’s place in

society at that time. It is ironic because people are trying to lengthen a

persons life, but they do not look at the overall picture. Where that one

person contributes to the population growth and the starvation of the

whole country. It is like curing a person from a deadly disease and

letting him walk out of the hospital, and then we see that person die of

starvation, something is not quite right.

Therefore my solution is quite simple. Let the disease spread for some

time, so that the death rates would increase and the population would be

controlled. In Burkina Faso the estimated death rate is 18.22 deaths/1,000

population, the life expectancy is 46.6 years. Also a problem is that 47%

of the population is under the age of 15. If the death rate was increased

by letting the people die naturally and not providing health care for a

period of some time then the population would also drop.

The other part to the solution is to control birth rates. The birth rate

in Burkina Faso is 48.05 births/1,000 population and the total fertility

rate is 6.88 children born per woman. One option would be to put in

political laws that a family can have only 2 children, for each child

thereafter they would have to put certain fees. Since the people are poor

and they have very limited money resources they would probably follow the

rule so that no further expenses would have to be paid. Another would be

to educate the people on birth control. This would also prevent the births

in some way.

Solution number two has weak points in relation to Burkina Faso. The

solution says that we should increase the environmental limits. This is

very hard to do because the country is poor and funds are not enough to

run a project which would raise the environmental level. If it was to be

done, then it would only support the population for a limited time and

then later it would have to be raised again. It would not control the

population growth it would only help the growing population survive for

some time.

The last option would be to simply do nothing and wait for a natural

disaster. This might be the most moral of all the options but is simply

not too realizable. Waiting for a natural disaster such as an earthquake

or a hurricane very unlikely to happen. First of all Burkina Faso is

located in an area where there are not too many natural disasters. This

option would be a very lengthy process and never certain that it will


In conclusion I believe that the best option for Burkina Faso would be to

try to increase the death rate, and at the same time lower the birth rate.

This option is not very popular nor it will be because it faces many moral

issues. I think since the underdeveloped countries can not receive enough

support and proper help from the developed countries they sometimes must

go against morals in order to save the majority of their population.