Vanuatu Chiefs Urge Government To Implement Population Controls

High birth rates putting pressure on limited land, resources

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 9, 2016) – The fast population growth in Vanuatu must be reduced for the reason of lack of space, urged concerned chiefs from north Efate.

They feared that the high birth rate will put future generations at risk without empty space and enough resources.

They are calling on the government to consider attempts to slow down population growth.

These chiefs came from villages Mangaliliu, Tanoliu, Saama, Siviri, Malafau, Emua, Eton and Lelepa. They were speaking to the Daily Post following a three-day workshop on environment and population in Port Vila.

“The number of births estimated in Port Vila every month is soaring.

“Apart from this, the constant increase in rural-urban migration is also attributing to the population change in Port Vila.

“The so-called urban-drift nowadays seems to be expanding away from the urban area.

“People are not only moving into Port Vila but are settling in other remote areas around Efate.

“This is a challenge for us (the chiefs).

“Within 10 years time, things will be different.

“The population will outgrow resources, in this case, land and food.

“Problems of overcrowding and accommodation as diseases outbreaks will start, crimes and instability will become more serious,” they stressed.

“We are calling onto the government to start putting in place measures to control population.

“It’s high time for us (Vanuatu) to have a policy.

“Our planners better do something now or we will face consequences in the future”, the Chairman of Tanoliu Council of Chiefs, Tim Kalangis, and Chairman of Siviri Village, Thomas Steel, were speaking on behalf of all chiefs.

Facilitated by Wan Smol Bag, the workshop encourages chiefs to have more say over their future.

This means being able to “say no” to some decisions, for example, retaining rights and not selling land to foreigners, said Coordinator Charleon Falau.

“Its about having ownership over their resources. Sometimes, villagers give away their land without realizing the resources are limited.

“Chiefs must work together to save their land and fight for their communities,” he added.

The workshop ended with a session on reproductive health facilitated by Nurse Leimako Simon at the WSB Clinic.

A lot of questions were asked relating to family planning and the impacts of alcohol, drugs and kava.

The chiefs said they have possessed insight and knowledge on reproductive health and will address the issues once they return back to the villages.

Vanuatu Daily Post
Copyright © 2016 Trading Post Limited. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
Average: 4 (2 votes)

Add new comment