, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- President Mwai Kibaki officially launched the 25-days count down to this year’s national population and housing census on Friday and called on Kenyans to fully participate in the multi billion shillings exercise.
President Kibaki said accurate population data will greatly assist the government plan on the allocation of resources to areas that desperately require it.
“The forthcoming census will serve as basis of determining the exact interventions the government is required to implement, with the view to direct resources where they will have the greatest impact,” he said.
The President however issued a stern warning to those planning to give false information during the exercise.
He said with the devolution of funds to the constituency level individuals may be tempted to give bloated figures so as to benefit from the funds.
He however assured the public that efficient mechanisms had been put in place to validate the reported population and any form of cheating will be detected and “dealt with accordingly.”
“I urge all Kenyans to provide accurate information as this will be the greatest expression of love for the country this year,” President Kibaki appealed.
Results of the exercise are expected to be out by December 31 with analytical results three months later.
In the same breath Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi appealed to the Planning Minister to make the findings of this year’s census public.
He said this would make the exercise credible and readily acceptable to the public.
“Two previous censuses have not been made public and this has seriously undermined the confidence and integrity of the process,” Mr Mudavadi said. “So to bring it back to its full fledge levels I urge they are made public because they will be revealing the reality.”
The theme for this year’s census is ‘Counting our People for the Implementation of Vision 2030’ and will run from the August 24 to 31.
Despite preparations for the exercise starting early, the process hasn’t been without its fair share of challenges.
Adverse weather conditions have forced many pastoralists to flee the country in search of better conditions coupled with the many Kenyans who still living in IDP camps across the country.
Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya revealed efforts between his ministry and that of Special Programmes, to provide sufficient relief food so that pastoralists could come back.
“For those in camps, special units have been set up to make sure they are counted like any other Kenyan,” he said.
The President also appealed to non- nationals to participate in the census exercise because their information would also be relevant to government.
The government is also planning to carry out sensitisation and awareness programs in the run up to the counting exercise.