The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) is in the final preparations ahead of the anticipated national census. Dr Chris Mukiza, the executive director of Ubos, made the revelation on November 13 at Statistics house.
The National Population and Housing Census was last conducted in 2014. At that time, the results indicated that Uganda had a population of 34 million people. Ubos usually carries out the census every 10 years, and this year’s exercise was scheduled to be held from August 24 to August 25.
Currently, Uganda is estimated to have over 41 million people. The estimates can, however, only be verified after the national census. The national census was scheduled to take place in August 2023; however, Ubos had not finalised the mapping exercise for the country, and it is, therefore, scheduled to take place on May 10, 2024.
“The mapping we are doing this time around is different; previously, we would just go and get the area boundary and move on, but now we are mapping every household and giving it a geo-code, and the output of that is that we shall have an interactive map on the tablets,” he noted.
He explained that every numerator will have a map of the area he is scheduled to cover with all households, boundaries, schools, and other physical features. For every particular house they finish, it will turn from red to green. For a numerator to claim that he has enumerated his area, the map must have been shaded from red to green.
He notes that Ubos will carry out a digital census compared to the previous censuses, where they relied on pen and paper. There are designed questionnaires the respondents will be required to answer, and upon the collection of the data, the information will be digitally processed and computed into statistics.
Mukiza notes that the delayed procurement of tablets led to the entity’s postponement of the national census. We did not secure the Shs 132 billion that was required to procure the 120,000 tablets needed to carry out the census.
Of these, 38,000 are enhanced with special features for verification and fingerprints that will be required for mass registration of people by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and verification of voters by the Electoral Commission, while others will be retained by local governments for picking data for community information systems.
This will later be picked up by Ubos for the generation of statistics for better planning for the country.
“Procurement is progressing well. The government is handling it where we are currently at the contract-signing level. We are procuring directly from the supplier, hence saving taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Didacus Okoth, the Ubos spokesperson, says they have so far mapped 87 percent of the entire country. We are remaining with Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, and the ten new cities, which are Jinja, Fort Portal, Gulu, Masaka, Soroti, Mbarara, Hoima, Mbale, Arua, and Lira, because people shift every other day, and by the time we conduct the census, they will have gone to other areas.
In those particular areas, mapping will be conducted a few months before the census.
“On November 30, 2023, President Yoweri Museveni will launch the national census at Kololo ceremonial grounds. The census will be carried out between May 10 and May 19, 2024. We hope that the cabinet will declare May 10, 2023, a public holiday to ensure the smooth running of events,” he noted.
In the same vein, Mukiza launched a series of events to mark Africa Statistics Week, celebrated on November 18 every year. During the celebrations, Ubos will hold destination activities, blood donation campaigns, and others.