KON TUM — Yang Roon Village in Dak Kam Commune will never rise from poverty if its residents continue to shun birth control, say local authorities.
A Per, who has been the head of the village for 32 years, said parents see security in having large families.
"Our village’s name, Yang Roong, in Banar means ‘fed by the God’. Thus, many people think that each day brings its own bread," said A Per.
The village has 440 residents. Each household averages five family members.
Villager Y Tum has given birth nine times, but just five children are still alive.
The family earns its living from a one-ha farm on which they grow cassava. The husband and wife earn a little extra money by working as casual labourers.
Y Tum said that few children survived to adulthood, so it was necessary to have a large family.
"If I give birth to one child and he or she dies, I will still have others," she said.
Y Thanh, head of the Yang Roong Village Women’s Union, has three children. She said she was prepared to have more children.
"Though I often talk with other women in the village about family planning and contraceptive measures, like them all, I am still worried about my children dying," said Y Thanh. "Thus, I am willing to have more children if my husband wants to."
According to A Per, Yang Roong sits on 600ha of land, but only 30ha is suitable for growing crops.
Villagers have planted just seven hectares of rubber trees and three hectares of rice. The rest of the land is given over to unprofitable cassava production.
"The life of residents depends mostly on agricultural production. Apart from this, they have to work for others to earn a living," said A Per.
Having more mouths to feed puts a further strain on a family’s finances.
"This is a headache for us. If residents continue to have more children, the village can never escape poverty," he said.
Nguyen Thi Thuan, chairwoman of the Dak Kam Commune Women’s Union, said authorities should do more to reduce the village’s birth rate.
"Communication campaigns need to be carried out more effectively," she said.
According to Thuan, the Yang Roong Village Women’s Union has 77 members, yet just 28 use regular contraception.
"Campaigns must help residents understand that having lots of children can badly affect their life quality. Only by doing that will they change their opinions on family planning," she said.
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