B’ville gets ready for polls, census

National, Normal

THE Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) is doing all it can to keep the people informed of two major events – the 2010 National Population and Housing Census and the ARB General Election.
ARB census coordinator Joseph Jeraha said the provincial administration had been very helpful in raising public awareness on the difference between the census and the coming general election.
Radio Bougainville has already produced announcements for the census to be aired everyday.
Mr Jeraha said the radio had also made public announcements to help people understand the differences between a census and an election.
The main difference is, in an election, only eligible voters participate while in a census every living person is counted.
However, since not all households have a radio, Mr Jeraha said he was hoping to receive assistance in the form of information, education and communication (IEC) material from the National Statistical Office headquarters and partner with organised groups and public institutions to help keep the people of  Bougainville fully-informed of the two major events.
“We are constantly informing district administrators to help people understand the events through public announcements, and making census and election an issue of discussion in their families and communities.
“Individuals at the district level have already been identified to undergo the training as master trainers to carry out the listing exercise.
“The results of this year’s census will be more accurate in Bougainville because we will have access to every little place in the region.
“That was not the case in the year 2000 where districts like Panguna and Bana became inaccessible under its No Go Zone declaration,” Mr Jeraha said.
He said some local level government (LLG) areas were inaccessible by road after bridges were washed away in the recent floods.
The areas are, however, still accessible by sea.
The national census will be conducted from July 11-17.