By Evans Najuna
Kampala: The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UBOS); a semi-autonomous body, responsible for data collection, processing, analyzing, and disseminating statistical data, is set to hold a national housing population census in August 2023.
Among its activities in this process is a national public awareness campaign in preparation for the exercise one of the major activities is census mapping.
The exercise will cover the whole country to ensure that all geographical areas are demarcated to the smallest unit. This was the focal point of the national e-conference discussion that was held among the stakeholders on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists, Dr. Chris Mukiza, the Chief executive officer informed the country that, the purpose of mapping is to ensure the geographical area possible for one enumerator can handle, this will also tell how many materials, staff, computers assisting devices among others that they will be required.
He noted that this time round the national housing population census will be conducted by use of digital equipment unlike the previous manual papers because the data will automatically be generated quickly to the public within one month hence informing the country in time.
He further clarified that the activity of mapping is ongoing and it is hoped to be concluded by February 2023. This will be followed by the development of a questionnaire and questions.
Mukiza encouraged the public and stakeholders to bring in ideas of how best the exercise can be done, adding that this can be done through the ongoing stakeholder meetings so that nothing can be left behind.
According to Dr. Mukiza, a national census is an expensive venture conducted once every 10 years and it’s an opportunity for the country to know the right number of people for better planning by the government.
He said that the UBOS team is already at the regional level because they want to be with people who give them information. The teams are also in the districts with the leaders discussing matters of statistics.
He added that they are also undertaking other surveys like; the Uganda Demographic and Health unit Survey (UDHS), Uganda Business Inquiry (UBI), and also regular monthly inflation figures of the country that helps to understand the cost of living but also help the monetary policy to intervene if the inflation is way out of hand.
He noted that the exercise requires Ugx146.9b, and the ministry has so far allocated Ugx4b to the ongoing activities since last year but also out of Ugx146.9b, the government has approved only 75% of the resources to be used.
He emphasized that this time round they will use responsible people as the enumerators as recommended by stakeholders and the cabinet, in order to get clear information adding that when you deploy young and irresponsible people the public tend to withhold key information.
The e-conference was held in the 15 regions of the country including South Buganda, North Buganda, Busoga, Kampala, Lango, Acholi, Acholi, Tororo, Bunyoro, Bukedi, Elgon, Karamoja, Teso, Kigezi Ankole and West Nile was attended by different local government officials including CAOs LC5 Chairperson presided over by Amos Lugoloobi, the state minister in charge of planning in the ministry of finance planning and economic development.
In his submission, the minister illustrated that the issue regarding statistics is a matter that comes along with planning for the country.
He said that planning and development of a country take three steps policy formulation and evidence space refers to what you have in terms of statistics in order to take a decision on what you can’t see.
He noted that in determining the GDP of countries the figures must be based on the same standards. He added that to generate such statistics there is a need to build capacity, for example determining the consumer price index in order to determine the level of inflation in the country.
Minister Lugoloobi thanked the Bureau, the executive director, local government, and district officials for the initiative of bringing the stakeholders into the discussion in time in preparation for the national population census.