UBOS sets sight on census after completing procurement of materials for the exercise

By Our Reporter 

Kampala – The procurement of the census materials have been concluded. The materials include digital tablets that we are going to use and this time round we are not going to be using the manual questionnaires,” that was a statement from the State Minister for Finance in-charge of Planning and Economic Development Amos Lugoloobi on Saturday 27th April during the dispatch of census materials at a warehouse in Ntinda; a city suburb.

Concerning the recruitment of enumerators and staff at the district and sub-county levels, the Minister said that the interviews at the lower levels have been concluded, and the training of census staff at the national level has been completed by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), adding that enumerators and their supervisors for the exercise will be trained starting on Monday 29th April, 2024.

He also noted that eighty percent of the process has been completed and only minor issues are remaining, stating that the country is on course for the census come 10th May, 2024. He implored leaders at different levels including Members of Parliament to mobilise their constituents to actively participate in the exercise since it matters to be counted, as the motto says for better planning by government.

Concerning the safety and privacy of the information that will be given to the enumerators by the respondents, Lugoloobi assured the public it will be confidential and not released to any authority including URA, adding that the laws of the land does not allow it in the first place.

The Minister further said that the tablets will not only be used for the 2024 national census but also other government activities like the Parish Development Model, National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) activities.

The census information will help us to know who has water and who doesn’t, who has electricity and who doesn’t, which areas have health facilities and which areas do not? This data will aid in planning for the country, so it is very important that the population participates in this exercise,” the Minister concluded.

The first dispatch of the materials are headed for the districts of Gulu, Gulu city, Apac, Alebtong, Amolatar and Otuke in the northern region. 71 out of 146 districts have their materials ready for dispatch in the subsequent days leading to 10th May, and the remaining ones being sorted at the Ntinda warehouse.

Dr. Chris Ndatira Mukiza in his remarks explained that each of the tablets has one map of the enumeration area, and each enumerator will have one tablet to carry out the census exercise.

Dr. Mukiza cautioned RDCs against giving statements about the postponement of the training exercise of the enumerators and supervisors because everything is on course to the D-day, explaining that they have no business in the census apart from providing security.

To ensure safety of the tablets, every enumerator will be required to provide their national identity card and a NIN number and photograph taken before being given a tablet. The tablets are also trackable in case of theft or loss and it can be disabled from the head office of UBOS.

Dr. Mukiza said that the enumerators should use the tablets carefully and protect it with their lives, and that anyone who is found misusing the tablets will be handled according to the law.

UBOs procured 120,000 tablets from a Chinese manufacturer at the cost of Shs141b but they were given a two percent swap, and added 1,240 more tablets as a bonus.

The government of Uganda allocated Shs320b for the national census exercise. The last national census was carried out in 2014 with a total population of 34,634,650 but the number is estimated to have shot to over 46 million currently according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

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