14 Jul 2006

Survey identifies 17,000 squatters in Solomons capital

9:58 am on 14 July 2006

A government survey of the population of the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, shows that about 17,000 of Honiara's 50,000 residents are unauthorized settlers squatting on Government land.

The Under Secretary of Lands and Survey, Eric Gorapava says, the figures indicate that unauthorized settlement is growing at a rate of 26-percent per annum.

Mr. Gorapava says this translates into the population of illegal settlers doubling in less than three years.

Solomon Islands has an annual average population growth rate of 2.8 percent, the highest in the Pacific region.