• July 3rd, 2020

The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) Mapping Project soon to start

Iipumbu Sakaria

In the year 2021, Namibia will be conducting a Population and Housing Census, which is commonly known as the exercise which counts people. However, there is much more to a census than only counting people.  Without a doubt the population and housing census is the main source for demographic and socio-economic statistics in the country. A is the most complete statistical exercises undertaken, therefore its certainly is also the costliest undertaking. 

However, before a complete population and housing census can be done, a prior exercise, called the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) Mapping Project, needs to be undertaken. The 2021 PHC Mapping Project is an exercise undertaken with the aim of demarcating, and systematically coding every inch of land in the country into smaller geographical areas known as Enumeration Areas. During a census every enumeration team needs to have a set of unique maps covering the entire country that accurately defines the boundaries within which each enumerator needs to work during the enumeration phase of the census. These maps hence assist our enumerators or field workers when conducting the actual census. The mapping exercise also collects detailed information regarding the use of structures, which cannot be obtained during an office exercise that only uses satellite and aerial photography.

There are three phases of census mapping to be undertaken. Phase One involves office digitization of all buildings, both rural and urban, countrywide. The digitization is done from high resolution optical satellite imagery. This phase also involves the ordering and numbering of all built up structures within the EAs.  Phase Two involves field verification of all the built-up structures digitized in Phase One. The main indicators to be verified are; the building structure use, housing tenure, number of households, and the structure type, etc. Phase Three involves Enumeration Area demarcation in the office based on a well-defined criteria relating to both the number of households per Enumeration Area and the Enumeration Area boundaries. 

At the end of this exercise the NSA will have detailed maps containing all the structures in the country and will link them with the statistics to be collected during the census period. This will provide Namibia with a powerful planning tool which will link statistics to spatial data. 

In total the NSA will employ around 282 enumerators that will go throughout the country for around six months to list all infrastructure in Namibia. As it is common practice, these enumerators will be identifiable through identification cards, introduction letters and branded NSA vehicles, amongst others. We are also going to work closely with the security forces in the country to ensure that households are safe, that the exercise is not misused by criminal elements and we shall give the households the liberty to request police presence where possible in order to remain safe and sound. 

The 2021 PHC Mapping Project fieldwork will start this year and will span over a period of six (6) months; three months for mapping in the urban areas and the other three months for the rural areas. The exact time period is from September to early December 2019 for urban areas and then January until end of March 2020 for the rural areas. To succeed in this the NSA we will also adopt a state-of-the-art mobile GIS mapping technology for gathering basic building and household date necessary for demarcating accurate enumeration boundaries.

A challenge that we have observed is that some households, especially in affluent areas, tend to refuse to participate in such statistical data collection exercises. We would like to remind the nation that it is against the Statistics Act No 9 of 2011 to refuse to provide information that is needed for development and we hence request that the entire population welcomes our enumerators and takes part in the exercise. Since it is better to be informed than not to be informed, help us collect statistics that are fit for development. The NSA will continue to inform and engage the nation about this massive exercise to be fully underway in September 2019. Do not be left out. 

*Iipumbu Sakaria is Manager for Corporate Communications at the Namibia Statistics Agency

Staff Reporter
2019-06-10 09:52:39 | 1 years ago

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