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Census date set

by Sunday Express
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Senior Statistician Pelesana Moerane

Senior Statistician Pelesana Moerane

Mohalenyane Phakela

The national census, which is conducted every 10 years by the Ministry of Development Planning through the Bureau of Statistics, has been set for 10 April 2016.

According to the Director of Statistics, Liengoane Lefosa, the population audit would be held under the auspices of the United Nations 2020 Round of Population and Housing Census.

“Lesotho has a long history of conducting censuses dating as far back as 1845, but the decennial and scientific census started in 1966 and the last one we had was in April 2006.

“The importance of this exercise is to generate statistical information that can be used primarily for development planning, policy formation, monitoring and evaluation of national programmes as well as international developmental frameworks because well-informed programmes and policies contribute towards the improvement of the quality of life,” Ms Lefosa said.

“The readily accessible and reliable data generated from the census shall be on demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, as well as housing characteristics.

“In preparation for this exercise, the Bureau of Statistics is already engaged in some pre-census activities since January such as the demarcation of enumeration areas which is meant to ensure every household in the country is counted during the 2016 census.”

Ms Lefosa urged the entire nation to support the census and ensure those undertaking the exercise are given the necessary help.

She continued: “The Bureau of Statistics will use both the De Jure (all the usual members of households) and De Facto (all people present during the enumeration) methods to capture the entire population of Lesotho. We will cover places such as cattle posts, hostels, correctional centres, hospitals and so forth to ensure everyone is counted.”

On his part, Senior Statistician Pelesana Moerane, said: “Each strategy has a loophole so we decided to use both in order to compare the findings and reach one result. It is because some  people spend most of their time in places they do not permanently live or in South Africa.

“This is a very expensive project and it is essential to report facts which is why we cannot do the census on a regular basis.

“Ideally, it takes 10 days to complete the census but we face a lot of challenges such as inaccessible areas and adverse weather.

“Another thing is people refuse to cooperate, mostly those in urban areas yet we expect them to be literate and know the importance of this so we urge people to cooperate.”

The Chief Statistician, Malehloa Molato, also highlighted some of the challenges the enumerators face.

“We understand that we ask for confidential information such as age which women are reluctant to reveal and salaries that men always hide. But we would want people to know that their information is going to be confidential and will not be published anywhere but only used for aggregate purposes,” she said.

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