State to spend Sh7 billion on national census

Published on 03/04/2009

By Ally Jamah

The Government will spend Sh7 billion on this year’s national census.

More than Sh4 billion will go to over 130,000 enumerators who will be hired to conduct the exercise between August 24 and 25.

The Director-General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Anthony Kilele said yesterday he will recruit 100,000 enumerators, 20,000 supervisors and 10,000 senior supervisors to conduct “the largest ever exercise carried by the Government”.

“We know this exercise is bound to be politicised because it is about numbers and politics is about numbers, but we intend to run a purely professional exercise,” said Mr Kilele.

And for the first time, Kenyans living abroad will be counted, but through their relatives who will be expected to provide information about them.

This year’s Population and Housing Census will use advanced technology like digital cartographic mapping, Global Positioning Systems and satellite Images to determine the location of people.

The latest software will also be used to process and present the data in “record time”. The results are expected early December.

Kilele was speaking at a workshop in Nairobi to brief DCs and DOs in the province about the exercise. Briefing sessions for the other seven provinces are complete.

Ready to go

Politicians, he said, will only be used to mobilise people to participate in the exercise. MPs have seats in the District Census Committees.

This is the fifth census since independence, which is carried out every ten years.

More than 10 million questionnaires have been scanned in readiness for the exercise.

Kilele said the census staff would be recruited only from the areas they reside.

“No outsiders can come in to count people in any area,” he said.

The census is expected to take at least seven days, with inaccessible and large districts requiring slightly more time.

To reduce chances of manipulation of numbers at the Census Secretariat headquarters in Nairobi, Kilele said that tallies would be made at the district level and within the first 14 days.

Nairobi PC James Waweru said security measures would be put in place to prevent criminals posing as census officials marring the exrcise.

Kilele said all parts of the country had been mapped for the census, except Nairobi, which would be completed this month.

Nairobi presents significant challenges to the cartographers because of its large and mobile populations. It also has a large number of recreational facilities making it difficult to track people.

The Director-General admitted that the recent creation of new districts would slow his work because new mapping will have to take place in areas where it had been done.

The census will involve not only basic headcounts of people but also complex demographic information.

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