Monday, April 23, 2012
Poverty in Vanua Levu or not
from w Statistics are often misleading, especially when economists start talking about poverty. Going by a weekly income in cash might not allow for subsistence living - catching your own fish and crabs, planting your own food gardens, making mats from pandanus, giving labour freely or for tucker. So when someone writes that Macuata has many poor people,you have to take that with a grain of salt. I think those in the urban squatter settlements of Suva and Lautoka may be really poor if they can't access a bit of land to plant basic vegetables. In the villages there is a lot of mutual support, working together, sharing resources, often eating together, and sometimes lease money helps with school fees and building projects. Sometimes. Now when you compare this with some statistics from Australia they are saying that a single youth or adult cannot survive in Australia on $250A a week, which is about $500F. Interesting. from today's Fiji Times: Poor north Serelisoni Moceica Tuesday, April 24, 2012 THE Northern Division is the poorest division in the country with 48 per cent of its total population living under the poverty line, a recent report on Fiji children by UNICEF revealed. This meant that 65,261 people in the north earned less than $175 a week for a less than four-member household which is Fiji's Basic Needs Poverty Line, it stated. However, Commissioner Northern Lieutenant Colonel Ilai Moceica said the statistics did not portray a "truthful image" of the poverty situation in the north. "The statistics are in economic terms only. These people have resources aplenty. This is what their livelihoods depend on. They have marine and land resources and the statistics are only in economic terms," Lt-Col Moceica said. The UNICEF report said the province of Cakaudrove had 26,470 people under the poverty line that accounted for 55 per cent of its total population. Statistics showed Bua and Macuata recorded 47 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively, of its population in poverty. The manager of the Northern Development Program, Waisale Tuidama, said 1501 projects had been implemented through the government-funded initiative. "Employment created was 4413 which is 4.7 per cent of the total working population of 92,000. With this employment, we have created a livelihood for some 22,665 people, 6.6 per cent of the total Northern Division population," Mr Tuidama said. He said the statistics were unfair and incorrect. Lt-Col Moceica said the only problem the division faced was business literacy where the population needed to be taught on how to maintain their resources and use them for their benefits. "We want the rural people to drive the rural economy," he said. The Fiji Bureau of Statistics stated an increase in rural poverty from the period 2002 to 2009. "While poverty in urban areas dropped dramatically from 28 to 18 per cent over this period, poverty in rural areas increased from 40 to 43 per cent," the bureau stated. The Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics said the high incidence of rural poverty was a result of rural to urban migration from expiring land leases and an increase in squatter and informal population. The ministry recorded 45,000 people in 1999 to 125,000 people in 2011 living in those crowded areas.