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Census mapping amidst pandemic

2020-11-02  John Muyamba

Census mapping amidst pandemic
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RUNDU – The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has set measures in place to ensure the ongoing pre-enumeration census mapping in preparation of the 2021 census is not derailed by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. 
The census mapping activity started last year in Zambezi region and is currently ongoing countrywide. 
“We are ensuring that our field staff and households that they are visiting remain safe as they conduct the census mapping, which is currently ongoing around the country,” said NSA spokesperson Esther Simasiku, adding staff are complying with all relevant measures against the virus as stipulated by the health ministry. 

“We have put together the following measures: field staff must ensure that they carry masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer with them all the time and all field staff are trained on the correct utilisation of face masks and shields as per their user ability requirements.”
According to Simasiku, staff members are also trained to practice good social distancing measures when conducting household interviews and are to conduct interviews outside or in a well-ventilated room – a spaced area if possible. 
“Interviews must be conducted with one person at a time,” she said. 

The ongoing census mapping is being conducted to prepare for the fourth Population and Housing Census (PHC), which Namibia will conduct in August 2021. The Statistics Act No. 9 of 2011 mandates the NSA to conduct the PHC every 10 years. The pre-enumeration census mapping in preparation of the 2021 census is required to prepare a digital environment upon which the main census shall be conducted. 

“The purpose of census mapping is to demarcate the entire Namibia into uniquely defined units of enumeration areas (EAs),” she said.  “These areas should have connecting boundaries that are not overlapping and must not have gaps. The EAs provide an accurate national geographic frame to conduct censuses. In addition, the mapping will collect detailed information regarding the use of built-up structures, which cannot be obtained during an office exercise.”  The NSA field staff are identifiable by T-shirts with the NSA and census logo, identity cards, bibs, as well as branded backpacks. 
“We would like to plead with the Namibian nation to assist the NSA to collect statistics for development. Play your part and be counted,” she said.

2020-11-02  John Muyamba

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