date: 2017 Jun 15
Even with only 1.2 million inhabitants in 1974, Lesotho’s leaders saw the country was overpopulated. A 1966 British Colonial Office study estimated that the land could support 400,000 people at best – a number Lesotho had reached by 1911. The country had few resources, and erosion was carrying away vast amounts of topsoil while an annual population increase of about 2 percent created more mouths to feed. Lesotho desperately needed access to contraception, but aid organizations avoided getting involved because many Africans then saw birth control as a conspiracy of the rich to keep their numbers in check.