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Why the Population and Housing Census will be successful  

Why the Population and Housing Census will be successful  

AS preparations for the sixth National Population and Housing census gears up, there are clear indications of achieving admirable success from the August 23 exercise.

The hope for success is based on increasing public awareness leaving no one behind.

Almost all groups having members or followers have been busy advocating for the census behind the top leaders: President Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan; President Hussein Ali Mwinyi; Vice President Phillip Mpango; Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa; First Vice President Othman Masoud Othman; and Second Vice President Hemed Suleiman Abdalla.

Analysts say that political parties, currently strengthening collaboration as advised by Mama Samia and Mwinyi, have willingly picked up the issue to drum for the Population and Housing Census, asking all their followers to take an active role in sensitization and also accept the counting.

Under the umbrella of ‘Political Parties Council (PPC)’, all political parties are already on the ground to advocate the census, and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), ACT-Wazalendo and UPDP as an example, have for the past week intensified campaigns, including organizing awareness meetings with members and fans, and also targeting students in schools and fishers who normally practice nomadic fishing.

While CCM and ACT-Wazalendo have continued census advocacy, the United Peoples Democratic Party (UPDP) has continued to urge political parties to cooperate in mobilizing the community so that the exercise is successful.

The UPDP party Zanzibar Vice Chairman, Mr Abdallah Muhamed Khamis and the party's Secretary General Mr Hamad Muhamed Ibrahim said at different occasions “We have to support the government’s plans for the country’s development.”

“We urge all citizens and other people who will be in Zanzibar on August 23 to be counted and also encourage others to provide sufficient cooperation to the enumerators in order to facilitate access to accurate information from each household,” said Mr Khamis.

The UPDP Women’s wing leader, Ms Mwajuma Ali urged all mothers to recognize the importance of the census and to be ambassadors in the spreading of positive information about it so as to achieve the objectives of conducting the population and housing census.

Mr Rashid Hadid Rashid- Regional Commissioner (RC) for Unguja South region and his Unguja North counterpart Mr Ayoub Mohammed Mahmoud have, in their respective areas of administration, assured that “As it clocks towards the population and housing census day, more people are getting familiar to the word ‘census’ while promising to cooperate and support the counting.”

Asked if they already know and understand about the census, street vendors, fish mongers and other traders in Mwanakwerekwe market and in different areas of Unguja Island last week, said that they have understood why they need to take the upcoming population and housing census seriously.

Mr Yussuf Hassan and Ms Agnes Ibrahim who work at Darajani market on their part said, “We have heard a lot from top leaders and leaders in the community, including religious and Shehas and journalists through media outlets, while students, farmers, and sports fans have also admitted to have an understanding of the exercise and have been motivating others.”

The Census Commissioner (Zanzibar) Ambassador Mohammed Haji Hamza has assured Zanzibaris through media outlets that preparations are in top gear for the census, urging all people regardless of age, race, and religious differences to “Get fully involved.”

He noted that the trial and pilot census conducted was successful, and that the National Census commission under the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in collaboration with the Office of Chief Government Statistician- Zanzibar (OCGSZ), was on course in ensuring successful implementation of the exercise.

He said “Our top leaders led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dr Hussein Mwinyi have spoken enough about the importance of the upcoming population and housing census, echoed by several leaders in both Union and Zanzibar from national to grassroot levels.”

Mr Hamza adds “Census is a national event, and it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate by accepting to be counted. We appreciate the support of all stakeholders in motivating people, including people with disabilities to get prepared for the census.”

The 2022 Population and Housing Census Commissioner, who is also former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anna Makinda visited several areas, including Zanzibar to drum for the national, first ever digital census done after the successful postal addressing system.

Who will be counted?

According to the census commission, all persons who spend the census night in in the country will be counted. This includes all persons who spent the night in a household, all persons who spend the census night in an institution (such as schools, camps, and reformatory centres or prison) and even outdoor sleepers and those in transit (floating population) on census night.

People are being told that a successful census requires that all respondents provide accurate responses to the questions posed by enumerators who will ask different questions such as age, nationality, place of birth, marital status, number of children, occupation, education, and use of ICT devices, among others.

During the census period, all census officials will be easily identified in addition to introducing themselves as genuine census officials. Census night is the reference point for census enumeration and all questions in the census will relate to that night. Everyone must take note of the census night date and remember to answer the questions accurately during enumeration.

Officials from the OCGSZ said that during enumeration, a census official (enumerator) will visit each household and administer a questionnaire (collect some information) from the head of household or any other adult in the household. The interview to collect information will be conducted in the language that the respondent (household member) can understand.

The OCGS’s department for ‘standards and coordination’ director Mr Ali Idrissa said that it is important that everyone takes note of the Census Night and where you spend that night to answer the questions accurately. All household heads should also make note of all the persons that slept in their household on the Census Night (both usual members of the household and any visitors).

In most countries, the census is conducted every 10 years at a minimum, and the United Nations defines a population census as the total process of collecting, compiling, and publishing demographic, economic, and social data pertaining to a specific time to all persons in a country.

Traditionally, censuses in the country in the past were conducted using paper questionnaires, manuals and maps, but this census will be digital with use of mobile devices.

Since the last census in 2012, there have been many changes in the structure of the population. In this regard, there is need for a census to update the socio-demographic and economic data in the country and ascertain changes that have occurred in the population structure since the last census.

Census benefits include the data collected on socioeconomic and housing conditions collected will allow for identification of vulnerable individuals and households for targeted interventions.

Data from the housing census can be used by government agencies such as Ministries, Planning Department, Local Government, and other interested bodies for making analysis/diagnosis of the housing situation both in terms of stock and quality.

Because reliable data informs good decision-making and planning, the data from the census will aid public and private sector to formulate policies and programmes to spur economic growth and development, and also the information that will be derived from the census will help the private sector, including businesses to plan their activities, which will be of benefit to the economic development of this country.

A census benefits the nation as it aids policymakers to make realistic development plans such as the provision of water, construction of roads, schools, hospitals; helps to track progress that have been made as a nation; and a successful census is a source of national pride as international bodies, including Development Partners (DPs) and Non-Governmental Organizations will also utilize the Population and Housing Census data when planning to support Tanzania.

To this end, the conduct of a PHC must primarily ensure that everyone is counted, enumerated once and at the right place. These three conditions are the primary quality assurance indicators and constitute the basis for realizing the merits of conducting a PHC.

The 2020 PHC will provide an indispensable framework in using administrative data to track the national, regional and global development agendas, namely the Coordinated Programme of Economics and Social Development Policies, EAC, SADC, and the Africa Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How census contributes to implementation of SDGs in Tanzania

TANZANIA will conduct its Population and Housing ...

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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