KEETMANSHOOP – The Namibia Statistics Agency, as a means of keeping residents’ personal, census-related information confidential, has sworn in 13 field staff, deployed in the //Kharas region last Friday in Keetmanshoop.
Administering the oath of secrecy process, senior communication specialist at the NSA Nelson Ashipala said the aim of the exercise was to ensure respondents to be interviewed can have peace of mind that information provided to the respective enumerators will be treated as highly confidential.
“If one of these temporary employed NSA staff breaks the oath of office and secrecy by way of divulging such information collected, they can be prosecuted in a court of law,” he emphasised.
Ashipala continued that the information collected during census in the country is vital for planning services by government.
“With data collected, government can now determine the socio-economic barriers the country is experiencing in terms of access to health, education and employment,” he added.
In terms of challenges previously experienced during census, he cited the unwillingness of interviewees to provide information, lack of access to farms where gates are sometimes locked and farm owners who want to provide information on behalf of their employees.
“The field staff was, however, properly trained how to navigate such situations if faced with,” he assured.
The communication specialist also said these enumerators are at liberty to approach local law enforcement agencies for assistance if under threat when executing their duties.
Lucia Jorse, one of the novice field workers, said she gained valuable knowledge and skills related to census during the just-ended two-week training session.
“I feel that we, as enumerators, are now fully-equipped to go out in the field and make a success of the envisaged pilot census,” she explained.
A total of 156 out of 15 0000 applicants were selected for the pilot census, which will run from 17 until 30 October 2021.
The date of 17 October will also be regarded as the ‘reference night’, where it will be determined how many people sleep at any specific household identified on this night as part of collecting data.
Seven enumeration areas, namely: Oranjemund, Noordoewer Border Post, Rosh Pinah, Aussenkehr, Aroab, Westdene Suburb (Keetmanshoop) and places in the Karasburg East constituency have been randomly selected for the pilot census.
The main purpose of the exercise is to explore and identified challenges to be anticipated and experienced as part of the preparation for the country’s next Population and Housing Census, slated towards the last quarter of 2022.