Census secretariat yet to consider extension – Official

The Census Secretariat is holding three concurrent operational assessment consultations with supervisors in the northern, middle and southern zones on the progress of the 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHS).

Mr David Y. Kombat, Director of Field Operations, told the Ghana News Agency, in an interview, in Accra, on Friday, that the consultations were expected to end by Monday, October 11, after which the Secretariat would determine whether to extend the period of the census or end it.

He denied suggestions that the period of the 2010 PHS had been extended.

The two-week exercise, which started at on the midnight on September 26, is expected to end on October 10.

He said by the terms of contract, signed with field enumerators, their exercise ends on October 14 by which time they are expected to capture all within their catchments jurisdiction, prepare and submit their reports to the Secretariat.

Mr Kombat, however, explained that the Secretariat was not oblivious to operational challenges.

He said: “We had strategic emergency mechanisms in the general programming of the exercise to ensure that we reduce field hiccups.

“Currently, with the involvement of the military, materials have been dispatched to all regions to supplement the forms already in the field and make up for the shortages in some areas, with back-up materials at Accra.

“We have enough materials in the field and nobody should use an exercise book or any other material to capture census data; don’t allow any enumerator to capture your information on any form other than the enumeration form.”

On challenges some enumerators encountered on the Census Night, especially in Accra with people who sleep outside, Mr Kombat said an officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), who had been working with “Kayayie”, had been seconded to the Secretariat to assist to capture those who were not enumerated on census night.

About 50,000 enumerators have been trained by the Ghana Statistical Office to undertake the enumeration exercise whilst about 27,240 enumeration centres have been created.

The enumerators are wearing blue “T” shirts with “2010 Census Official” written behind it. They have their ID cards hanging on their necks.

The census is to collect detailed statistics on the size of the population for effective planning.

The exercise is also to collect data on the composition and distribution of Ghana’s population, the residential accommodation and facilities in use.

“This information will be crucial in determining the development policy direction of the county,” according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

It adds that the census will be an important source of comprehensive data on persons with disabilities, helping to assess their social and living conditions in terms of school attendance and educational attainment, employment, marital status and living arrangements.

This is the first time disability issues are being included in the Population and Housing Census.

The census will also include a housing census, which is the official enumeration of all living quarters, either occupied or vacant, and occupants thereof at that time.

“The enumeration also implies the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of demographic and socio-economic statistics relating to the population,” according to GSS.

Ghana has had 10 population censuses since 1891. The last population census was in 2000 when 18.9 million people were counted. Estimates have put Ghana’s population at 23.4 million.

Source: GNA

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