World population Day

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

The day is marked every 11th July and was first observed in 1987 when the world population reached 5 billion people. The day was acknowledged by the United Nations in 1989. The world population currently stands at over 6.2 billion. By 2070, it is expected to be 9 billion. The day serves as a forum for governments to review progress made in areas of population and reproductive health in order to identify gaps and emerging concerns.

Kenyan’ population in 1999 was 28.7 million with a growth rate of 2.9%%. The number increased to over 40 million in 2009. The country’s natural resources suffer from increased pressure. Rapid population growth and poverty intensify environmental health risks. To meet increasing food demand, the farming methods applied sometimes cause soil erosion and pollute freshwater resources. Environmental diseases such as waterborne disease and malaria as well as overcrowding can lead to the death of many people including children.

The world population day provides an opportunity to reflect on our numbers and to compare this with the natural resources available. It aims at addressing issues such as improvement of health, education, poverty alleviation, employment, housing, slow population growth rates and promotion of environmentally sound technologies. These aims are geared towards improving the general dignity of all people especially the status of women and children.

Suggested activities

  • Compose songs, poems, drama and dance about the population.
  • Develop posters about population problems in the country.
  • Invite an expert to talk about population issues and how population growth leads to environmental degradation.
  • Visit the museum and look for exhibits dealing with population issues.
  • Write essay or summary notes on how you celebrated the World Population Day. Publicise your success on this blog.

For further information, contact:

United Nations Population Fund (

Ministry of Devolution and Planning (  

National Council of Population and Development (

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