Collapse Of Rwanda

Dillon Abate


Rwanda's collapse, caused by overpopulation, food shortages, and deforestation led to the massive Genocide of 1994.
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  • Neighbored by Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi
  • Highly elevated and surrounded by mountains to the west and savanna to their east
  • Climate is temperate to subtropical, that includes two rainy seasons and two dry seasons every year
  • Three tribes: Hutu, Tutai, Twa
  • 10,169 sq. miles, very small

Reason 1: Overpopulation

  • The main reason for the recent collapse of Rwanda was overpopulation. The population grew greatly because of the massive surplus of food. As Jared Diamond explains, a population tends to expand when the surplus does. This is shown in the graph below, because as you can see, the population shoots up around 1988, then sharply decreases from 1989 until 1996.
  • The other factor of overpopulation that contributed to the decline was the fact that there was simply not enough land to support the citizens of Rwanda
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Reason 2: Deforestation

  • The main reason for Rwanda's decline, overpopulation, directly ties onto the second reason for their decline of, deforestation. They tie together because due to the fact that in order to provide for all of the inhabitants of Rwanda, many trees and forests had to be destroyed. These trees were used to provide the citizens with housing and agricultural reasons.
  • The supporting reason for why deforestation added to the decline of Rwanda was due to the fact that they had to drain the majority of their marshes in conducive with the fact that because of the abundance in the population
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Reason 3: Food Shortages

  • Although overpopulation had an effect on many things including deforestation, it had a great effect on food shortages. As long as there was a large amount of food, the population would keep on the rise. However, the population outgrew the people, and that resulted in "no improvement in food per person"(Jared Diamond Collapse 320).
  • One of the biggest aspects of the food shortages was the coffee crisis. This crisis was cause by the 50% decrease in price of coffee from 1989-1992. The prices drastically declined because a meeting of the major coffee exporters ended very badly. the steep decrease in prices led to less money coming in from exports, which added to the downfall of Rwanda
  • The lack of water from all of the droughts contribute greatly to the lack of food
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