BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ACCORDING to, “Solomon Islands Poverty Maps Based in the 2012/13 Household Income and Expenditure Survey and the 2009 Census of Population”, report on small-area estimates of poverty, one of three key findings says there are significant pockets of poverty in the Central region of Solomon Islands.
The areas with high concentration of poverty include Honiara City, Guadalcanal, Makira Malaita and Central provinces.
Moreover, in Honiara it is reported that while small-area estimates suggest that most wards in the city have above average rates of poverty, the highest rates are evident in Naha wards.
In relation, the census data also provided favourable indicators of welfare for residents in Honiara City in contrast to residents in nearby Guadalcanal province such as having greater access to wage employment, improved quality housing and higher rates of durable goods ownership.
For Guadalcanal province, the report expressed that there are many wards including the continuous belt along Weather Coast with estimated poverty rates that are very high, above 34 percent.
To add on, the highest rates which surpass 50 percent are noted be evident in wards of Valasi, Avuavu, Talise, Moli and Tetekanji.
As for Eastern Makira, five wards, namely; Wainori East and West, Star Harbour South and North, and Santa Ana have poverty rates above 34 percent and large numbers of poor people.
Meanwhile, as reported poverty rates tend to be lower in wards of Malaita province and consistent with the low incidence of poverty for province as a whole.
However, there are moderately higher rates of poverty and larger numbers of poor people that are still apparent in some of the wards in the northern part of the province.
In Central province, the poverty level in wards was estimated to be relatively low.
The report emphasized that small-area estimated of poverty can inform policy design by means of spatial targeting of poverty interventions and contribute to monitoring efforts such as facilitating analyses of the correlation of poverty with other socio-economic phenomena.
“Ultimately, it is hoped that the information presented in the poverty maps can help policy makers better allocate resources to support faster, more effective poverty reduction,” said the report.