According to the Family Planning and Womens Empowerment Board, (BKBPP), Palembang’s growth rate will double by 2015 at the current rate of childbirths.
Palembang currently has about 1.5 million residents but it is not equipped well enough to house more than 2 million people within the next five years.
The United Nations see population growth as one of the challenges facing Indonesia, along with a slowdown in economic growth, overexploitation of natural resources and disparity of regional development between urban and rural areas.
More people means more strain on public infrastructure and services, environmental conditions and social problems related to urbanisation such as employment.
In an article on Palembang’s government news site, E Government, Edy Asuardy, Head of Family Planning and Women’s Empowerment Board, said that birth numbers are high and that Palembang has a big flow of urbanisation.
The Palembang government plans to tackle this with a more intense family planning and awareness program.
“Therefore, at this time BKBPP resurrects the family planning (KB) program. It has clear purpose due to we try to anticipate the population trends,” Mr Asuardy said.
While the program shows results for participation, Mr Asuardy said they have only 56 instructors, about a third of the instructors they need to reach all 107 villages.
Mr Asuardy also expressed concern that people don’t want to participate in the program because they are worried about “side effects” and that good quality information and enough instructors to disseminate it, will help improve the program and in turn, help society in general.
“Ideally every village is served by two officers. But now one officer must serve three villages. So, the material presented is not optimal, “he said.
A 2008 UN report stated that, “Over the coming decades, world population growth will largely be determined by growth in the urban areas of developing countries. Cities also facilitate social change, particularly through the educational and cultural opportunities they provide. Thus, in virtually every country, the transition to lower fertility started and has advanced further in urban areas.”
Mr Edy Asuardy, Head of Family Planning and Women’s Empowerment Board, Palembang
United Nations report- UN Expert Group Meeting on Population Distribution, Urbanisation, Internal Migration and Development, Jan 2008