Sleep where you want to be counted – Shimuafeni

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) general statistician, Alex Shimuafeni, has urged Namibians to avoid being counted twice in the upcoming census that started on Monday.

Shimuafeni said this during a population and census update yesterday at the NSA head office.

According to Shimuafeni, it is important to remember who slept in your household and that people should sleep where they want to be counted, as there will be a census reference night on 24 September and everyone found in the borders of Namibia on that day will be counted.

“On this specific day, regardless of nationality, age or social status, everyone found within the borders of Namibia will be counted. Everyone who finds themselves outside of Namibia on this day will not be counted as part of the population,” said Shimuafeni.

He said for the first week of the census, enumerators will be going to each household for listing purposes, which includes identifying the household structures and dwelling units as identified by statistics collection.

“As of Monday, our enumerators have gone into the field to do listing and this will go on until 22 August,” said Shimuafeni.

According to Shimuafeni, NSA has made arrangements with the Namibian Police to ensure that the census is not only successful but safe as well.

“Safety for our enumerators, safety for households, and safety for all Namibians during the census period is mandatory and we would like to advise those that have criminal intentions to desist from such practices as they would face the full wrath of the law.”

Shimuafeni assured that measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone after some people threatened to harm the enumerators and unleash dogs on them

Speaking at the event, the deputy inspector general of Namibian Police, Elias Mutota, warned anyone intending to take part in any criminal activities.

“Many people have become victims of criminal activity because of those pretending to be census enumerators. Be warned that the police will be carrying out robust interventions to ensure the safety of everyone. And if caught participating in any criminal activity, you will face the full wrath of the law,” said Mutota.

Shimuafeni said for the first time this year, NSA will be using private community vehicles to give back to the communities instead of using car rental companies that are sometimes foreign-owned.

“We asked individuals to register their private cars and three to five cars were selected per constituency. We are renting these cars at a rate of N$1 825-N$2 250 per day for the duration of the census. The owners of the vehicle have the liberty to choose their own drivers,” said Shimuafeni.

Geingob last week said the census acts as a vital tool to hold the government accountable and ensure the nation’s development stays on the right track.

“Our commitment to transparency, accountability, and data-driven decision-making should not just be a commitment on paper, but should be a commitment in action,” he said.

The NSA has recruited over 13 000 temporary positions to ensure a seamless execution of this nationwide undertaking.

To facilitate the data-collection process, the agency has received support in the form of 11 000 tablets donated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from Togo, 1 700 tablets from Statistics South Africa, and an additional 700 tablets from the inventory.

The government has allocated N$706 million to the agency for the 2023/24 financial year.

The last census was conducted in 2011.

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