UBOS commits to providing quality data in the forthcoming census, urges MPs to rally their constituents

UBOS commits to providing quality data in the forthcoming census, urges MPs to rally their constituents
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UBOS commits to providing quality data in the forthcoming census, urges MPs to rally their constituents

The Executive Director of the National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Dr. Chris Mukiza has urged Members of Parliament to encourage their constituents to participate in the upcoming Census and provide honest, accurate information.

He made these remarks during a breakfast meeting with MPs at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday, where several legislators raised questions about the forthcoming exercise.

Dr. Mukiza assured citizens that their information would be kept secure, adding that people often have concerns about the Census; they hesitate to provide them with information.

"You are their representatives, and they trust you. Simply convey to them that the Census is apolitical, and we have no interest in their property," Mukiza told MPs, emphasizing the need to mobilize constituents for the count.

Dr Mukiza informed MPs that preparations for the digital Census in May are at 98%, with the remaining 2% expected to be completed by the end of May.

He also updated lawmakers on UBOS's pre-census activities, including trainer training for enumeration supervisors and enumerators at the sub-county and town council levels.

"These trainers will begin training district supervisors, sub-county supervisors, and enumerators responsible for counting the population. We will commence training from April 29th to May 7th, 2024. This leaves us with two days for preparation. During these two days, trainers will familiarize themselves with the enumeration areas' topography and digital maps," he explained.

He assured MPs that Census results would be released within a month. "Trust me, the Census results will be released in June," he affirmed, also noting that people in the diaspora would not be included in the Census.

A total of 114,460 enumerators and 18,483 supervisors will participate in the exercise.

Dr Mukiza further informed MPs that over 120,000 tablets have been delivered to aid in the technologically-driven census.

Responding to MPs' queries about the tablets' post-census use, Dr Mukiza assured them that two tablets would remain at each parish to collect data for the Parish Development Model (PDM).

. In response to concerns about recruiting university students as enumerators and supervisors, Dr. Mukiza explained that due to their academic commitments, it would not be feasible.

"If students have not undergone enumerator training, which begins on April 29, they cannot participate. We have advised universities to keep students on campus during the Census. We will count them there using the institution questionnaire," he said.

He noted that other students, who will be on vacation, play a crucial role in household welfare, emphasizing the significance of their circumstances.

"We have coordinated with university authorities to count students in their hostels and other places of residence without disrupting their academic schedules," he stated.

Regarding concerns about data quality, Dr Mukiza assured MPs that Uganda boasts the best quality data in Africa.

"We are ranked number one in terms of data quality, even South Africa benchmarks here," he said, emphasizing UBOS's commitment to providing quality statistics. MPs commended UBOS for its efforts and pledged to support the Census mobilization efforts.

The commission will begin addressing complaints on April 17 to ensure resolution before the Census, according to Dr. Mukiza.

While Census night is scheduled for May 9, May 10 will be a public holiday to ensure people are available at their residences.

Enumerators are expected to count individuals who were present in the country on Census night.

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