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Economy

Ministry has ‘fair feel of numbers' ahead of census

Planning PS Julius Muia.
Planning PS Julius Muia. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

The Planning ministry says it already has “a feel on the expected number of Kenya’s population” ahead of national census set for August 25-26.

Planning PS Julius Muia told Parliament last week that the ministry had identified enumeration area of 100 households.

“When we did cartographic mapping, we enquired about the number of people in the enumeration area. We already have a fair feel of the number of people we expect from the actual census,” he said.

Mr Muia told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that ministry had mapped the whole country and 135,000 enumerators would be hired during the census.

“We did a pilot on August 25-26 last year and these are the same dates we will do the actual census in 2019,” he said in response to a query by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo.

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The ministry intends to undertake the census in line with the constitutional requirement that such an exercise be carried out every 10 years. Mr Muia said the exercise that started in 2016 would cost Sh18 billion to complete.

He said the ministry plans to undertake the census using a computer-assisted personal interview that would involve the use of a smartphone unlike in the past exercise that involved the use of paper assisted personal interviews.

“This computer-assisted personal interview has foolproof tools where if you say you are a lady aged 15 and declare to have sired 20 children the computer will refuse and unable to proceed with the count.

“The security features in gadget has been set in a way that if you steal it you cannot use it. We will be able to identify where it is,” said Mr Muia.

He said the ministry had benchmarked with South Africa and is headed to Malawi, which has undertaken a computer-assisted personal interview census that is highly recommended by the United Nations.

“We will be going to Ethiopia, which started and stopped midway. We want to learn what challenges they encountered to inform our exercise,” he said.

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