Uganda blackouts ‘fuel baby boom’

March 19, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for sending this article. The introductory paragraph is from Kenn in London.

Although blackouts, like strikes, can cause a rise in the birth rate (as in Britain in the 1970s), Uganda’s Planning Minister has got it completely the wrong way around. It is population growth that is causing the blackouts, not the other way around (not least because most of the population is still rural and not yet on mains electricity – Uganda’s HEP dams, particularly at Jinja, are stretched beyond capacity. The dams simply cannot cope with the growing demand for electricity from Uganda’s growing urban population and industry, so there is electricity rationing between parts of the county (as with Kenya). Plus, the government doesn’t have the revenue to pay for the infrastructure (e.g. electricity) for this rapidly growing population (despite Uganda having perhaps most effective tax-collecting services in Africa, since Museveni came to power).

Uganda’s population explosion is being fuelled by electricity shortages which lead couples to go to bed early and have sex, a minister has said.

“While the rest of the world is working in shifts, we in Uganda are going to bed early,” said Planning Minister Ephraim Kamuntu.

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