Shefa

ShefaShefa province includes the islands of Epi, Efate and the Shepard Islands. The name Shefa is derived from the initial letters of Shepars and Efate. It has a population of 45,280 people and an area of 1,455 km². Its capital is Port Vila, which is also the capital of the nation.

Vision of Shefa Province:

To be safe, wealthy and prosperous, but careful about its resources, and to involve its population in a lasting social and economic development.

Mission of Shefa Province:

To provide the most effective and efficient delivery of services and to protect the resources and tradition of the Native Population and the rights of all people living in Shefa province, so that they can live together in peace and harmony.

History

In the 1860s, Havanna Harbour, north Efate, was the centre of development in Shefa, with cotton plantations the focus. With dwindling prices for cotton, agricultural administrators turned to maize and coffee, before settling mainly with coconuts and cattle which are the main agricultural products today.

The French and British continued to have conflicting interests in Vanuatu (then known as the New Hebrides) and decided upon a joint Naval Commission, or Condominium, in 1887, with the Joint Court opened in 1910, it is still used today.

Shefa Province was a strategic location during World War II for the mainly American troops. Major installments were placed on northern Efate along Havanna Harbour including Tanaliou, Siviri and Saama, and some other Efate Islands including Moso Island.

Demographics

Population: 78,723 (2013)

Households: 19,930

Villages: 213

Cities: Port Vila (National Capital)

Politics

The Shefa Provincial Council Headquarters are located in Port Vila; these humble offices house the political and administrative hub of the Shefa government. The representatives for Shefa Province number some 18 and are elected every two years, with the President, Vice President, 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President and Treasurer being nominated at that time.

Geography

The Shefa Islands are volcanic and limestone/raised reef in origin. The one active volcano in the Province,  on Epi is only sporadically active, and other underwater and extinct volcanoes are scattered throughout Shefa.

Shefa is made up of approximately 27 islands, Efate being the most populated and also the location of the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila. It is at the south end of the province and is surrounded by several smaller islands, including Iririki, Ifira, Eratap, Erakor, Erueti Lep, Eratoka, Lelepa, Moso, Nguna, Pele, Kakuhla and Emao. To the north are the Shepard Islands, a group that includes Naore, Etarik, Matasao, Makura, Emae, Buninga, Tongariki, Tongoa, Ewose and Laika. At the north end is the other large island in the province, Epi, as well as nearby Tefala, Namuka and Lamen. Some of these islands are uninhabited.

Tourism

Shefa Province is the gateway for many tourists into other parts of Vanuatu. Underwater wonderlands, endangered aquatic species, lush bush, active volcanos, living culture make up the diverse landscapes and experiences that await the tourists to Shefa Province.

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