What these fathers fail to realise is that the main reason we have so many malnourished children on the African continent is because people fail to plan families in line with the resources available.
Where there are very few resources, as is normally the case with most African families living in dire poverty, it is mostly the children that suffer, needlessly.
Most Western nations have long realised the acute need to balance reproduction and resources.
As a general rule in Western countries, couples are encouraged to not have more than two offspring; a concept that is slowly but surely sweeping across the Arab world too.
Africa remains the continent in which the idea is still widely viewed with contempt and suspicion.
Most African couples, especially those living in remote areas, do not find the whole idea of using contraceptives appealing as there is still a strong belief that one should have as many children as possible.
This is something that is widely viewed as a sound investment, more so when the children come in the female form.
As a direct result of the poverty, brought about by having more children than they can provide for, most families have had to scrounge around in order to survive.
Most people hide behind the Bible and church doctrines and insist “God wants people to reproduce and fill the Earth”.
We have exceeded even God’s expectation if you ask me! And talking of the things God expected of us, one of them was to take care of the world and everything in it.
When we look at the rate at which we have caused and continue to cause degradation of the environment that was entrusted in our hands, I am sure we would all agree that we have failed dismally.
We have abused the soils from which our very livelihood depends on so much that they are now used up and produce for us less crops with each year.
As things stand, there is just not enough to go round and as a result, the food prices continue to soar and are getting out of reach for most impoverished folk, who are the majority.
The very air we breathe is heavily polluted with gases that are mostly emitted through industrial activities that are ever increasing as demand continues to rise to supply the ever-growing population.
In the meantime, industrial activities continually demand more resources. With the pace at which we are using the available resources, one would wonder if there will be anything left for the coming generations.
In order to sustain the large families that require feeding, most parents have taken to clearing forests for firewood to sell.
This system has contributed considerably towards the present state of deforestation so much that if initiatives are not taken soon, some, if not most tree types will become extinct, just as some animals and birds are.
Such a scenario would be especially unfair on the future generations whom I really fear are not going to inherit much, not to mention the environmental implications!
The truth of the matter is that there just aren’t enough resources to go around for everybody, resulting in many people going without most “basic” supplies.
We have consumed most of them and because we have not done a good job at conserving our resources, their quantities have dwindled, considerably.
Having a dozen children will definitely not help the situationand this would no doubt result in us exhausting our resources much sooner , and only God knows what the future would then hold.
With the damage that we have all caused, in our different ways and extents, the responsible and indeed sensible thing left for us to do is for each of us to make it a point that when we at least get to child number four (a number that would still be considered as too much by the Western world, but a good start for Africa), we stop and make use of contraceptives.
We should let go of the African traditional ways of birthing where one man would father a dozen children as this is simply not sustainable anymore.
When planning families, couples should make it a point to put environmental consequences into consideration.