Quantity or quality? [Archives:2005/849/Viewpoint]

June 9 2005

Believe it or not, according to Worldwatch, Sana'a was ranked as the fastest growing city in the WORLD judged by the annual growth index at 33.3% between 1975 and 2000.

The top ten cities next to Sana'a are Karaj in Iran (29.1), Ansan in South Korea (24.2), Rajshahi in Bangladesh (23.5), Neijiang in China (22.1), Riyadh in Saudi Arabia (21.6), Nanchong in China (20.9) again, Dhaka in Bangladesh (19.0) again, Yantai in China (18.8) for the third time, Ulsan in South Korea (17.8) again.

Basically, China, Bangladesh, South Korea, Iran, KSA and Yemen. What is the common factor between all these countries? They are developing countries or at least countries with struggling economy. Although China begs to differ a little especially that they have realised their problem years ago and have taken measures to control the child birth. In fact, during the past years China was successful at decreasing their growth rate; after all they are the number one country with the largest population. But then again, why Yemen and why Sana'a? What's with the Yemeni people storming heads first into a population explosion?? Especially that Sana'a is a city where crucial indicators of water shortage and high pollution have been reported? Let alone the dramatically increasing poverty and continuous deterioration in the living standards? Are the Yemenis thinking that if they increase in numbers they would be preparing better for the future? Perhaps not, the truth is that there is hardly any awareness among Yemeni people regarding family planning. Sometimes religious concepts promote having many children. Actually there is nothing wrong in having many children, providing you are able to present them with the good education, a suitable life style and an adequate attention. All of which are hardly available in the Yemeni society for even as few as one or two children.

The legacy that Yemeni people are leaving behind generation after generation is more than historical monuments, traditional custom or even oil (although by the time they come not much will be left!). It is more than that; Yemenis should understand that their legacy should be focused on human resources. The people are the ones who build nations or ruin them. If care is not given to how the generations are raised, educated and empowered then the future of the country wouldn't be very promising.

Being the capital city of Yemen, Sana'a attracts many Yemenis coming from around the country with various orientations and backgrounds. As these populations mingle together, a focused efficient government strategy should be carried out to help Yemenis organize themselves better, in numbers and in manners. Yemeni people are of the smartest and most intellectual worldwide provided they are given the chance to work in an environment that nurtures their abilities. Security is a vital need for people to excel. When competition for the limited resources increases, people feel less secure and tend to either leave the country looking for better opportunities – causing brain drain, or become aggressive and use unethical means to withhold as much resources as possible – causing corruption. Before worse comes to worse, Yemeni government and people should save this country, and save the future for the generations to come.