Minister Sofu Supports “Village Survey”

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VRS Director Raphael Aipaina shake-hand with the MID Minister Stanley Sofu after the successful meeting.

THE Minister of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Hon. Stanley Sofu has established his strong support to the National Village Resource Survey & Household Listing 2017-2018 (VRS) that is being implemented by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

Mr. Sofu revealed this in a dialogue with the National VRS Project Director Raphael Aipaina at his office last week (Friday 1st June 2018).

The meeting is to seek consent from Hon. Sofu and for the authorisation to permit field enumerators to carry out statistics collection in his East Kwaio Constituency (EKC) without fear and restrictions from communities.

It was a success as Mr. Aipaina on behalf of the Government Statistician Douglas Kimi and Minister Sofu agreed on accord to join forces and ensure field enumerators collect statistical information without deterrents.

“I like the survey,” Mr. Sofu said.

“This survey is important since it will help me to identify the specific villages/communities facing difficulty in terms of basic infrastructures-like road, health/clinics and education in my constituency and also the findings will contribute towards my constituency development planning purposes in the future,” he said.

He added that the final report or findings of the survey will not only help him but will also aid the National Government (SIG) and policy-makers in its future planning.

Speaking on behalf of the Government Statistician Mr. Kimi, VRS Director Mr. Aipaina recognised Mr. Sofu’s support and authorisation.

He said such authorisation is significant given the liberty for officers to perform duties without fear.

Mr. Aipaina also thanked Minister Sofu for his time and sentiments raised during the meeting.

The discussions held with Minister Sofu was the third non-statistical approach and outcome the NSO have, following two related consensus sealed with the leaders of the Makira-Ulawa Province Platform communities and the Christian Fellowship Church (CFC) community in the Western Province early April this year.

The VRS and Household Listing 2017-2018 is the basis for 2019 Census enumeration areas (EA) demarcation.

The survey (VRS) will play the role of assisting the Solomon Islands Government in providing quality data at the village level, which is essential, to see the impact of development, and guide its development efforts and policy – makers in the future, to improve the livelihood and standard of living for all Solomon Islanders.

The survey collects information on services to the village and include mapping and also collect information on the location of households by GPS and the number of people per household by gender.

The survey now reach the third phase since it was started in October last year (2017).

The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) through the Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) is funding the VRS 2017/18 project.