New districts push up cost of Census

April 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – The cost of conducting the National Population Census later this year will be Sh360 million more than the estimated Sh7 billion, the government has announced.

Planning and Vision 2030 Minister Wycliffe Oparanya attributed the increase to the creation of an additional 57 districts that were not in place during the initial planning stages of the census, which will be conducted on August 24 and 25.

“When we began this process, we had 149 districts but now we are talking about 206 of them,” the Minister said.

Mr Oparanya noted that the additional funds would be used to pay salaries for the 139,000 individuals who would be hired to carry out the exercise.

He said preparations are on course with the cartographic mapping process for Nairobi beginning today (Wednesday).

“We have carried out the mapping process in all the other districts in the country except Nairobi and Mt Elgon. In Mt Elgon it was because of the insecurity issues during the period,” Mr Oparanya observed.

However mapping is currently on-going in Mt Elgon.

At the same time, Mr Oparanya said that the post election violence and boundary disputes had delayed the finalisation of mapping activities.

“We have however made plans to ensure that if there are any IDPs still left in the camps, they will be counted,” the Minister said.

He expressed optimism that the results of the census should be announced by December this year.

The Minister further reassured that politicians would not be allowed to interfere with the process, despite sitting in the District Census Committees.

“We will only allow politicians to participate as stakeholders like any others because the committees will be chaired by the District Commissioners,” the Planning Minister stated.

The District Commissioners would also be charged with the responsibility of hiring the workforce required for the census.

So far the government has spent Sh800 million on the process, while Sh6.5 billion will be required for activities to be undertaken between now and 2011.

He said the bulk of the expenditure, Sh5 billion, will be spent on staff costs.

“I am optimistic we will receive all the funds because as we speak, Treasury has been very co-operative on the matter.”

Mr Oparanya emphasised on the need for the census despite the hard economic times arguing that it was within the law and could only not take place if the law was changed.

This would be the fifth census carried out in the country after independence, but the seventh ever. Two were carried out pre-independence.


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