By Grace Amme and Raymond Baguma
The state minister for planning, Matia Kasaija has rallied Ugandans to cooperate with Government and participate in the census next month which is critical for planning for service delivery.
Kasaija said, “We have areas within our community which through tradition or otherwise, are suspicious about enumeration. They ask, ‘why are you counting my children, my heads of cattle.’”
Addressing journalists at Statistics House today, Kasaija said, “It is good for government to know the number of children so that we can easily plan to establish facilities like hospitals, and family planning services.
Give us the information which is accurate and complete so that government can have data for planning at local and national levels and within the region.”
The census enumeration exercise is due to begin next month and run for 10 days from 28th August up to 6th September under the theme, “counting for planning and improved service delivery.”
He encouraged the public to turn up for census enumeration exercise because it will be important to guide decision making by the Government.
This comes just after past incidents in which some people refuse to participate in national exercises.
Recently in Zombo district, the Police arrested seven people from a religious group that were preaching against the on-going identity card registration.
“It is not true that we want to hurt you. We just want to know the fertility rate so that we can ably plan for the people’s well-being,” Kasaija added.
“Local leaders are tasked with sensitizing and educating the masses. Let me appeal to all leaders not to politicize the census activity because the census has no political connotation whatsoever. I urge the general public to maximally cooperate, support and participate in the forthcoming census enumeration exercise,” said Kasaija.
A circular issued by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) ahead of the census, revealed that the recruitment process of census supervisors and field enumerators has been completed and the interviews are presently on-going.
Fred Mungyereza, the UBOS executive director said that government has availed all the funds needed to run the exercise and they are ready to begin the process.
“All the districts have so far received 50 percent of the money required and will get the rest of the money at the end of this month,” he said.
Mungyereza said that interviews for those shortlisted to fill in the 8,000 positions of census enumerators and supervisors had begun yesterday in the various districts.
He added that it was not immediately easy to get the total number of people who had applied for the positions because the figures are available in the various districts where recruitment has been done.
“But at the end of next week, we shall be able to know how many people applied and how many were shortlisted for the jobs,” Mashate said.
The minister encouraged Ugandans in the areas of Rwenzori to be stead-fast saying that security is under control and the process will move swiftly without any threats.
“We shall heavily deploy in those areas that are feared to be insecure. But I do not see any serious security threat that will disrupt the census process,” Kasaija said.
Kasaija also appealed to local governments to put in checks and balances to ensure value for money, transparency and ultimate accountability while managing census funds.
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