George Kebaso and Kirera Mwiti
The government is using a new strategy in a bid to bring into the national census data hard-to-reach Kenyans by providing a call-back card with enumerators’ mobile telephone numbers in cases where people alone.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) expects Kenyans who have not been counted to reach enumerators through the mobile number provided on the card.
Despite exuding confidence that it will achieve 100 per cent of the population census as curtains for the week-long exercise come down, there are clear signs a sizeable number of Kenyans may miss the count set to end on Saturday.
KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi said yesterday there are many Kenyans who live alone, and spend long periods away from their homes that need to be counted.
“For such populations, enumerators will leave call -back cards on which they will write their phone numbers and other relevant information and slip it under the door.
Please use this card to book an appointment with the enumerator for them to come to you when you are available,” Mwangi said at Teleposta Plaza during Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna’s regular brief to the media.
Despite being sketchy on the coverage achieved so far, Mwangi said the progress is encouraging. “We are confident that the count will have registered universal coverage by Saturday. We are now on the home stretch,” he said.
He said KNBS has however, encountered a number of challenges especially in relation to the internet, making it impossible for its staff to record realtime data on the progress. He said KNBS has been able to address the erratic internet in some areas in the country though.
Mwangi said, KNBS will release the preliminary report of the exercise in three months time. “We are consolidating what we already have, and once we are done we will let Kenyans know what the numbers look like,” he added.
Oguna said the government has no intention to extend the census beyond the gazzetted period.
“We have received enquiries as to whether the enumeration period will be extended. In our case, the census period has been seven days with the night of 24/25 August as the reference night.
This is ample time for the exercise to be adequately implemented. We all agree that even if Kenya is a democracy, there would be no extension of census,” he added.
Meanwhile, over 88 per cent of households in Nakuru county have been counted in the ongoing census with the figures expected to hit close to 100 per cent when the exercise ends tomorrow.
The disclosure was made when Housing PS Charles Hinga led senior government officers in a tour of various estates in Naivasha to supervise the exercise.
Hinga praised the county leadership for an impressive job despite facing various challenges. “Nakuru county has so far recorded 88 per cent in terms of coverage while in Naivasha town the figures stand at 89 per cent and this is very impressive,” he said.