POPULATION SHRINKS ON SAMOA’S SAVAII

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By Cherelle Jackson

APIA, Samoa (Newsline Newspaper Samoa, June 8) – Talofa lava, Samoa has been fairly quiet in terms of major news in the last week, but the sound of the rain and the heat of the sun have been consistent throughout.

In the news, the latest census report has showed a decrease in the population Savaii, my home island, in the last five years.

Savaii, although the bigger island of the Samoan group, holds less than 30 percent of the population.

It seems the natural pull of urban life has taken its toll on the big island.

The Census 2006, due to be released this year shows a decrease in Savaiis population from in 43,101 2001 down to 42,824 last year.

Faasaleleaga No1 still remains the most populous district with 6062 residents.

The smallest disctrict is still Gagaemauga II with a total population of 578.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Statistics Department Muagututi'a Sefuiva Reupena says internal and external migration trends continue to make major impacts on the population of not only Savaii but Samoa as a whole.

Muagututi'a says this is reflected in the slow moving population trends in the last five years.

The 2006 Census recorded 179,186 total population of Samoa whereas 2001 census recorded 176,710 overall.

Muagututi'a says: "This due to people moving overseas at significant numbers."

Lowe birth rates is also a contributing factor, he believes that, as people become aware of the cost of child rearing the rates of birth naturally decrease.

North West Upolu remains the largest counted area with a population of 55,823 in the last census.

There are still more males than females in Samoa according to the 2006 census.

Males amounted to 92,961 and females at 86,225 last year.

The complete and finalised version of the census will be available later this year.

Sport

At the sporting front, the Faleata horse races, Independence Meetings on the weekend brought Princess Waitui, a six year old champ into the limelight.

The locally bred royal horse won the Ca'bella Pacific Classic Race 3 against four other horses of imported B class.

Princess Waitui is owned by Richard, Anasina and Edward Annandale and trained by R.O Keil Stables.

At six years Princess Waitui has won more than 10 Races according to Richard Jnr.

The champ was trained for nine weeks leading up to the races, owners say Princess Waitui has three years of racing behind her.

New Zealand Jockey Ms. Harmony Moki did justice to the history of Princess Waitui by winning their first race yesterday and coming third overall.

The 19-year-old said the local horses were much more relaxed than in New Zealand.

In environment news several local, regional and international environmental organisation replanted 500 mangroves to commemorate World Environment Day.

Identified as a key action under Samoa's National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), the clean up and replanting will strengthen the existing mangroves in this area in a bid to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change.

This event is part of the 'Strong Islands, Strong Future' regional initiative by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to highlight the importance of strengthening coral reefs and mangroves against the effects of climate change.

Media

In the media front News Editor of Radio Polynesia Ms. Ame Sene yesterday confirmed to Newsline that the previous ban imposed on her by Maposua Rudolph Keil on reporting Press Conferences by opposition MP Asiata Saleimoa Vaai has been lifted.

"I have been told that I am free to report on Press Conferences by Asiata," Ame said in a phone interview.

Ame Sene, a veteran radio Journalist with more than 10 years in the Samoan media said the lifting of the ban is a significant step in her freedom as a Journalist to report on issues of public interest.

"This is a good step forward in freedom of the media in Samoa," she said.

Ame said an internal meeting resolved in the lifting of the ban by Maposua and agreed on stringent editing of news items involving Saleimoa Asiata Vaai.

Asked as to why the ban was imposed in the first place, Ame said it was due to repeated broadcast of the same news item with accusations by Asiata.

The coconut wireless this week has informed me that one Church Minister received SAT$5000.00 from his village as part of his usual monthly allowance.

Ironically some of the villagers are surviving on tinned fish so as to donate a significant amount to the Minister.

That's the latest from this part of the Pacific.

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