MAKIRA-Ulawa province Census officers has received an extraordinary welcome when they met with the Makira platform community at Hoto village, Friday 6th September.
The meeting was part of the Census underpinning activities to raise awareness amongst communities and people about the coming Census.
The dialogue between both parties was a success as the community pledged their full support and participation.
Highlights of the day include a warrior welcome, exchange of gifts – custom baskets, shell money, traditional necklace, cooked and uncooked food, and a traditional farewell.
Welcoming the Makira Census team headed by Census District Superintendent (CDS) for Makira and Temotu Province Francis Badenogo, Platform community Grand Chief Johnson Sunaone Taisae said the visit indicates a strong attachment to the government and the people despite his community isolation and differences in faith and culture.
“Your visit makes us feel part of the family,” Grand Chief Taisae said.
He said they are looking forward to being part of the Census count comes November 4th and pledged to support the Makira-Ulawa Census officers with needed information.
Grand Chief Taisae said providing necessary information to the government is critical to guarantee policy-makers make policies that will enhance the development of Solomon Islands.
He emphasized that for the country to realize prosperity, we must always stand united.
“…We assured you (Francis Badenogo) and the Government that we will support the Census and participate to help government make strategies to boost development in the country both spiritually, physically, socially, economically and even politically – in all aspect of live.
“Your visit today is important because only through unity we can build our nation/society – united we stand, divided we fall.
“We always open up for Government obligations. No man is an Island. Together we can work together to building our country and help government plan for the future of our children and generations to come,” Grand Chief Taisae stressed.
CDS Francis Badenogo while responding to Chief Sunaone thanked him for the sentiments shared and also conveyed Census Commissioners greetings to the platform community.
Mr Badenogo said that there is no room for discrimination with Census regardless of religion, race, culture and so forth. We are one.
“We hold the principle of confidentiality.
“Census count start from age 0 and above. Government make policies and decisions based on the Census data/information.
“We will continue to strengthen our relationship and work together to ensure your participation in the coming Census
“This is want we want, to build a bridge and work together despite different background we come from. We are one despite different culture, race, and religion,” Mr Badenogo added.
Census Commissioner Douglas Kimi thanked Makira Census team headed by CDS Badenogo for the successful dialogue and recognized the platform community assurance and support to the Census.
He said Census is a national undertaking and whatever data or information collected will help the government in its decision-making and future planning.
Census enumeration (count) will be conducted from the 4th of November to 8th of December under the slogan, ‘Kaont blo mi, fiusa blo mi’ or in English translation ‘My count, my future’.
Solomon Islands have its first census count in 1970, the second was in 1976, and again in 1986, 1999 and the latest and the fifth one in the series was in 2009.
This is the sixth census survey the country to have since the first one was conducted in 1970 under the then British authority.
Solomon Islands conducted census after every 10 years. The latest census was held in 2009.