The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has assured Kenyans that preparations for 2019 Population and Housing Census slated for the night of August 24th, 2019 are proceeding as scheduled. The Director-General, Mr. Zachary Mwangi says for the first time Kenya will leverage newer technology to ensure the census exercise is conducted as per expected global standards.
The census will cost about Kshs. 18.5 billion. Some of the money has been set aside by the government in its budget, while additional funds will be availed by development partners.
“The KNBS is working round the clock to ensure preparations for the census are completed within the agreed on timelines and meet the internationally recognized thresholds,” said Mr. Mwangi during a media briefing.
He added, “This time round census data will be captured electronically through a paperless process. It will incorporate the use of data collection tablets that have been locally assembled at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Moi University.”
The information collected during census when analyzed gives an accurate picture of how many people are living in the country/county, at every administrative level and their living conditions as well as access to basic services.
This will inform planners on the social services people require such as education, healthcare, housing, and transport. The data is also vital for monitoring internationally and locally agreed-upon agenda such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda of the government.
Apart from government planning and policy development, the data collected in the census also serves data users in the private sectors at various levels. This can help private companies to base their investment, sales and marketing strategies on empirical data.
About 170,000 enumerators and supervisors are being recruited to work in this year’s Housing and Population Census. The recruitment process is ongoing and will be completed by the 12th of July 2019.
“This exercise has to adhere to internationally recognized guidelines which advocate for the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability, and integrity required of statistical systems in maintaining credibility and public confidence,” he emphasized.
The previous population Censuses were held in 1948, 1962 (pre-independence),1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009. The practice of counting the population dates as far back as the biblical times during the Roman Empire.