Chris Mukiza (PhD), the Executive Director of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), has said that the bureau has mapped at least 48% of the enumeration areas ahead of the 2023 Housing and Population Census.
“We have so far mapped 48% of the enumeration areas in terms of coverage and are working hard to ensure we complete the remaining 52% by the end of June as we draw much closer to the census date of August 25th,” he said.
Addressing the attentive media, Dr Mukiza observed that for the first time in Uganda’s history, they are mapping the whole country using electronic gadgets in form of digital tablets called Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) and also hope to use them during the actual Census exercise.
“From time immemorial, we have been using the traditional paper and pen approach while conducting censuses. It’s a high time we adopted this novel technological approach towards statistical production and dissemination,” he pointed out.
The Executive Director further noted that the mapping exercise is so critical to the census exercise because it provides an updated list of enumeration areas and administrative units in the country thereby determining the number of enumerators and supervisors required to undertake the actual census.
He revealed that 130,000 digital tablets and other ICT equipment are being procured for use by more than 110,000 enumerators (data collectors).
A data processing centre and storage server unit which have to be linked to the CAPIs are being installed for the success of this massive yet important exercise.
It is important to also note that by the end of April 2023 when the National Census Committee will have met, a date to launch the census will have been set and communicated to the country.
“I wish to appeal to the members of the media to work with the Bureau to help demystify the Census to the masses because some of the challenges faced during the exercise are issues to do with superstition among some sections of the population. They believe that if they are counted, they will die and if they declare the number of livestock they have, they will lose their stock. These are simple myths within our communities that must be addressed,” Dr Mukiza allayed such fears.
According to him, it is important for the masses to understand what Census is all about with the relevancy that comes with it and assured that such data are made readily available.
In addition to Census preparations, UBOS is planning to undertake the National Household Survey, which is periodically conducted after every 3 years.
This survey facilitates the availability of high-quality data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics of households for monitoring the development performance of key indicators in the various sectors such as Health, Education, Finance, Information and Communication Technology, among others.
During the same event, the Executive Director recognized and appreciated Mr Edgar Mbahamiza, the outgoing Head of the Department of Public and Media Relations, for his unwavering diligent and relentless services to UBOS for the past 23 years.
As one of the pioneer staff that joined the Bureau from its inception, he will be greatly remembered for having enabled the UBOS to evolve over time.
Mr Mbahamiza was among the great team that introduced systems and policies fostering growth and excellence within the institution. His collaborative attitude and inspiring leadership will be a lasting legacy in the memory of UBOS.
In his handover speech, Mr Mbahamiza thanked the management and staff of the Bureau for allowing him to showcase his potential in the various capacities he served.
He felt his voice was always heard whenever he proposed a new way of doing things. He encouraged UBOS to keep on supporting professional growth and development.
“I am confident of leaving a strong institution, with a vibrant leadership and credible staff making commendable contributions towards the socio-economic transformation of our country,” Mr Mbahamiza reiterated.
Pointing out some of the health-related risks that many civil servants must pay attention to such as mental health and general physical fitness, Mr Mbahamiza advised that these two health factors are key in determining the level of productivity of an employee.
He tasked UBOS management with encouraging and strengthening the requirement of physical exercises and any other health-related activities to enable the staff to keep fit.