AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNOR TAUESE SETS UP POPULATION GROWTH TASK FORCE

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 13, 2000 – Samoa News)---"Rapid population growth is a very real problem in American Samoa and one which we cannot continue to avoid," declared Governor Tauese Sunia in a news release.

In announcing the establishment of a Population Growth Task Force, he said, "It is essential that we develop a plan of action regarding population growth."

The purpose of the Task Force will be to examine the many complex social and environmental issues associated with the Territory's rapid growth, according to the Governor.

Specifically, the Task Force will:

• assess population issues in American Samoa from all angles;

• develop a "Plan of Action" for population growth in the Territory; and

• make recommendations as appropriate and identify data needs.

"Population growth is also one of the major issues of the 21st century worldwide," the Governor added.

"The population growth in American Samoa raises serious issues in all aspects of life on our small island," he continued. "Our current population of 63,100 is projected to reach 100,000 within only 15 years and 170,000 in 40 years."

To follow through on his concerns, the Governor has created the Population Growth Task Force and peopled it with government employees and one representative of the community-at-large.

The Task Force members are:

Lt. Governor Togiola Tulafono

Aliimau H. Scanlan, DOC Director

Lelei Peau, DOC Deputy Director

Abe U. Malae, Port/ASPA Director

Dr. Joe Tufa, Public Health Director

Marie Ma‘o, DHSS Director

Albert Mailo, Attorney General

Fiasili Haleck, YWA Director

Dr. Sili K. Sataua, DOE Director

Rev. Ned Ripley, Faifeau

The Governor also created an advisory board for the Task Force and appointed the following members:

Mike Dworsky, ASPA

Peter Craig, National Park

Vai Filiga, DOC

Gene Brighouse, DOC

Josh Seamon, DMWR

Sheila Weigman, ASEPA

Manapo Turituri, DOE

Mick McCuddin, Public Health

Nancy Daschbach, DOC

Alex Zodiacal, DOC

 

CENSUS 2000 OFFICE OPENS IN PAGO PAGO

By La Poasa

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 13, 2000 – Samoa News)---The Office of the American Samoa Census 2000 officially opened yesterday morning in a ceremony that was attended by Governor Tauese Sunia and numerous government officials including cabinet directors and members of the Fono.

The office is located in the former Triple A building, which served as the temporary quarters of the High Court of American Samoa several years ago. The building has been vacant since the High Court moved back to its permanent home last January.

Tavita Roseti was the Master of Ceremonies, while the invocation was offered by the Reverend Father Emani Tevaga.

Governor Tauese, in his special remarks, stated that the census (tusiga igoa) is "nothing new" in American Samoa. He also provided a little history of the census, which dates back to the Roman Empire where the idea first started.

"The first real census in history took place at right about the beginning of the first millennium," the Governor recalled. "For American Samoa, it started in 1920."

The Governor stressed the importance of the census in providing historical records for tracking down long lost family members.

Census data is also useful to local planners in providing best locations for roads, schools, hospitals and other community-related services.

"It's amazing what the census can do," said the Governor. The census counting is done every 10 years.

According to Tauese, the $2 million, which was federally granted for the Census 2000, was not attained easily. He said that it would be used, among other things, to pay for the estimated 300 temporary workers that will help to gather the census data.

According to Douglas Lee, Census Advisor for American Samoa, January and early February will mostly consist of training sessions for managers who will, in turn, train their subordinate staff.

Lee added that the first operation will be the special locations that have "dormitory-type settings," which will be used by the public to pick up their Census 2000 questionnaires.

Census Area Manager Ali‘imau Scanlan, Jr. told Samoa News that the old Convention Center near the Rainmaker Hotel is being renovated and will be used as a training center for the employees.

The census data will be collected beginning April 1, 2000.

The Census 2000 Office will close at the end of October and the data processing will begin.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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