Speaking during the handing over ceremony, the UNFPA representative said that they and other development partners like DFID, Irish Aid and UNDP among others will be supporting the Census process. He further said that they have all the resources to conduct a credible census and congratulated the Statistics Sierra Leone staff as he said he is confident that the Census will be an accurate and credible one.
As this will be the first Census after the outbreak an accurate detailed picture of the country’s current status is expected so as to aid economic development in the country.
Commenting on the progress made so far, Peter Bangura, Director of Demographic and Social Statistics who also doubles as Census Field Operations Coordinator said 98% of mapping data has been digitized and ready for Enumeration areas maps preparation and printing, cartographic field work completed, trained GIS and digitization, pilot census conducted and evaluation report published among other activities concluded.
He further said that household and institutional questionnaires would be used as instruments of data collection, saying that the household questionnaires comprise seven sections of household identification, population characteristics, housing facilities, and ownership of durables, agriculture, deaths and the socio-economic impacts of the Ebola outbreak. He went on to note that anyone who spent the census night (4thDecember 2015) in the country will be enumerated and each enumerator is assigned to one enumeration area of about 100 households to complete in two weeks.
Following the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the country in May 2014, many programs, events and activities were postponed, including the census that was disrupted and cancelled.
The Population and Housing Census which is being conducted every ten years was postponed twice as a result of the outbreak.
But the government and institution responsible for the conduct of census which is Statistics Sierra Leone have been working on having the census done in December this year. The census will be conducted on the 5th to 18th December.