Erongo governor Neville Andre has cautioned the public to be on alert for perpetrators who may take advantage of the 2023 Population and Housing Census activities that commenced yesterday.
He emphasised the importance of conducting such a critical project, saying, “Census data plays a crucial role in decision-making across a wide range of fields and it is a fundamental tool for understanding the characteristics of a population”. Andre indicated that the safety and security of residents are primacy during this project. “As the census staff visit our households, safety and security is our number one priority. We want to ensure that our people are safe and protected from perpetrators who may want to take advantage of the process,” he said.
The public is encouraged to look out for identifying features. Census staff can be identified by their attires and a yellow line bib bearing Census and NSA logos. They will carry a letter of authorisation, census ID and their national ID. Vehicles transporting census staff will also be branded with Census and NSA logos. “One can also do a quick verification if the person at your premises is indeed from the NSA by searching for the census page on the NSA website and clicking on the ‘Verify Me’ button.” The public is further assured that data collected during the census period is always anonymised, encrypted and will be used for statistical purposes only.
Hence all responses provided to census staff are strictly confidential. Disclosure of any information obtained during the census period without lawful authority is an offence and liable to a fine, a term of imprisonment, or both “I, therefore, encourage each and everyone to participate and cooperate with NSA field workers in giving them complete and accurate data. Let us ensure that we all play our part and be counted,” Andre appealed. The Population and Housing Census (PHC), planned and coordinated by the Namibia Statistics Agency is conducted at an interval of 10 years. The project has been on hold since 2021 due to Covid-19. The last census conducted in 2011 recorded a total population of 2.1 million.
The 2023, census will take place from 18 September to 03 November. During this period, a complete count of all dwelling structures in the country and persons who will spend the Census Reference Night (CRN) of 24 September 2023 in a household, an institution or in transit in Namibia will be counted. The CRN also referred to as the Census Night is the reference point for census enumeration and all questions asked during enumeration will relate to that night. The Census Night is crucial in avoiding double counting. All usual members of a household and other persons who did not spend the Census Night in Namibia will not be counted. All persons born after and who died before the Census Night will also not be counted. The public is advised to note details of all the people who spent the Census Night in their household in order to accurately answer questions during enumeration.
* Rauna Kal ola is an information officer of the Erongo
Regional Office in Swakopmund