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Essay on Overpopulated Cities

This is an example essay on Overpopulated Cities:
Many countries throughout the world have the problem of overpopulated cities but none more than those countries that are still developing themselves. This problematic nature of increasing overpopulation in the cities of developing countries is the biggest global problem needing to be addressed in the 21st century, and will continually need to be addressed in to the future, as overpopulation is increasing at an alarming rate. One country suffering such problems is Bangladesh and its hugely overpopulated capital city of Dhaka. Many different factors affect this city from education, water quality, health care, the cycle of poverty and many more, while this is a struggling developing country it can be compared to a very developed country such as Japan which is developed and extremely stable in comparison.

Throughout Dhaka the lack of educational services is extremely apparent and the need for new schools, university and other tertiary institutions is more than obvious. This educational problem has become so large that Dhaka is and could quite easily get trapped in the “cycle of poverty” meaning that their lack of educational facilities means that they cannot produce enough qualified people to do all the jobs a developing country requires. With only about 20 per cent of people able to read and write, and there is only two universities in the whole of Bangladesh, and even when they can get into schools “about 40 percent of those enrolling in primary school drop out before completing primary education” (General Information, 2001 [Online]). For a developing country such as Bangladesh they need more schools and universities so as they can study technology, find suitable places for mines or other resource stocks. This cycle is nearly impossible to break since if they have very few teachers and schools then it will take a long time to get more teachers even if they were able to put in more teaching facilities. This cruel cycle is heavily fueled by the fact that they are an overpopulated and developing country, for instance if this was Japan, a country with the same population (around 126,000,000) schools and universities could be supplied by the government or privately owned financiers.

Famines, drought and poor water quality in cities like Dhaka in developing countries force many of the inhabitants living out in the country farming or what not to move into the city to seek aid. Bangladesh is highly “Disaster prone and is a victim of repeated natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, droughts and earthquakes” (General Information, [Online]). It is these horrific natural climatic conditions that make it hard for farming and so on but also forces a lot of people into the cities. Around,

48 per cent of rural and 44 per cent of the urban population live below the poverty line defined as 2122-calorie intake per person. Average households spend 59 per cent of their income on food, yet 60 per cent of children below 5 years of age are malnourished. Resources required to bring about improvements in standards of living are limited. (Md. Mujibur Rahman and Hasin Jahan 1997, [Online])

These statistics show how a developing country cannot take the strain of an overpopulated city. And would almost have to look globally for help. As food isn’t the only problem many also are in need of good quality water facilities,

More than 90 per cent of the rural people have access to safe drinking water and only 18 per cent use proper sanitation facilities. 47 per cent of the total urban population has access to public water supplies and 42 per cent to hygienic sanitation. (Md. Mujibur Rahman and Hasin Jahan 1997, [Online])

So as urbanization becomes and even bigger factor to life in an overpopulated city in a developing country so to is the problems of water quality, famine and natural disasters/weather, Japan also suffers from these terrible natural disasters (earthquakes) but they manage to survive since they import so much food but there strong economy – compared with Bangladesh can sustain this.

Many countries all over the world have overpopulated cities, many in developed countries and even more in developing countries but the key difference is how overpopulated cities like Dhaka in Bangladesh struggle since the country has not yet been able to set up the adequate facilities to sustain such a high population (127,567,002 people). This is when water sanitation and food supply all mentioned above become a real threat to a cities health With Dhaka suffering “Between 35 and 50 of every 100 newborns suffer from low-birth weight… 70 percent of mothers are afflicted by nutritional deficiency and anaemia. Another perennial health challenge is the long-term effects of naturally occurring arsenic in ground water” (General Information, 2001 [Online]). The city and country is so busy putting money out of its budget into feeding the people and trying to keep some kind of decent standard of living that all the things required for a developing country are neglected. Such as advances in technology, putting in place a good government system and many more. This is why a developing country finds it extremely hard to sustain an overpopulated city. In comparison however a developed country like Japan can support a large population, since everything required is in place; especially government.

This overpopulation then becomes a matter on the global scale since,

The effects of urbanization on the environment and water resources are evident. When the number of inhabitants in a certain area gets too big the environments own power of regeneration decreases and the problems will occur. Wastes will accumulate to air, soil and water. The level of living decreases dues to pollution, traffic, noise, inadequate housing and lack of own space. The consumption of the hinterland’s goods will increase above the production and food has to be transported from far away.(Summary and Conclusion, 2001 [Online]).

This high consumption of resources by an overpopulated city puts high undue strain on a developing country. In turn this also becomes a global problem, since the world can only have so much farming land and so many crops growing at any one time, and if a city requires the importation of food from outside sources this then puts a strain on the global food market, and Bangladesh finds it so hard to sustain good farm land due to the problem of natural disasters. With all global resources being put under pressure. This global problem does require the address of the world’s attention since the strain of world resources is a global problem.

As years pass the worlds population is only going to get larger and thus the strain on world resources is going to continue to rise, and the problem of overpopulated cities in developing countries has to be addressed. Perhaps a possible solution could be found in trying to limit the population as was done in Japan with the one child policy. Since when you compare the two countries (Japan and Bangladesh) it is clear that they are two countries of equal size yet of far different economic states. When you compare the two, Japan with a very slow birthrate (around .9) and Bangladesh with hardly any contraception available and a high birthrate of around 1.5. When a health condom survey was done in 2000 it was found that, “condoms are unpopular in…Muslim Bangladesh” (Condoms unpopular in overpopulated Bangladesh, 2000 [Online]). In relation to GNP and so fourth, as seen in tables in Appendix A, Japan has a far better economy and GNP 38,160 (US$) per capita, whereas Bangladesh only have a GNP of 270 (US$) per capita.

Bangladesh do keep a decent health system however with some rather unusual strategies put in place, like working over the internet to pick up cheap medical to keep all hospitals fully equipped, at least to there best potential. They even have special services done by the government that allows women in Bangladesh to purchase loans which in turns allows them to set up there very own businesses, this however small does slowly help to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Although Bangladesh does implement these unusual methods they have a lot to strive for before being as stable as Japan. With the country of Japan able to keep its birthrate so low, (below 1) this enables that they will not get too overpopulated as they already are, but the fact that they have realized this and implemented measures to contradict a population boom just shows how developed they are. Bangladesh needs to be able to implement some way of educating the men and women of Dhaka and surrounding cities of how overpopulation is a vicious circle and is in fact a global problem, with Bangladesh’s projected population at 80 million by the year 2020.

Clearly the growing population of cities in developing countries is going to be a continual problem until some sort of global “law” can be introduced to help the countries battling malnourishment, education problems and sever lacks of technological advance. It is this problematic nature of increasing overpopulation in the cities of developing countries that is the biggest global problem needing to be addressed in the 21st century, and into the future, as overpopulation is increasing at an alarming rate.

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Feb 10, 2011

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