Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has urged the country to participate in the 2016 census just two days away.
Tuilaepa said the population count that is done in every five years collected by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics is critical to the development of Samoa.
“It’s important to have a census because the government wants to know the population especially the count for different ages,” Tuilaepa told the media on Thursday.
“This information can assist the government in terms of planning schools and hospitals depending on which area is populated with people. We also have to see if the roads are good and the different kinds of development for the country.”
The last census in 2011 showed that Samoa had a population of 187,820.
The Prime Minister pointed out the statistics have come in handy at the time of natural disasters like cyclone Ofa.
He explained at such a time of natural disasters, the census will be used to assist in distributing food for people in the villages.
“If the record shows there are 200 people in this area then we have to give our 200 sacks of rice,” he said.
“The census is vital so we can plan ahead.”
While there were reports that some people did not cooperate with the officials, Tuilaepa said they need to be dealt with.
“It’s good if we charge them so the law can deal with them,” he added. “The only reason why we have lawbreakers is because most of the time there is a lack of respect for each other but the way it should be is to charge them to avoid this kind of behaviour.”