Dr. Zake boasts of great experience as someone who was involved in Uganda’s first post-independence Census in 1969.
“The Count-down is designed to mark the beginning of a mass Census education and sensitization campaign to ensure maximum public awareness and appreciation of the Census undertaking,”said Zake.
Muwanga and his team that included UBOS top management that was led by Executive Director Dr. Ben Paul Mungyereza, used the launch to reiterate importance of the exercise as well as their preparedness to carry out the Census considering that it has been postponed twice since in 2012 and again in 2013.
Zake stressed the importance of the Census as something that goes beyond mere counting of people.
He said: “It will provide information on population characteristics, citizenship, education, employment, disability, orphan-hood, conditions of housing, sources of income, from which so many development indications are processed.
Zake confirmed the government’s commitment to the exercise especially through providing funds totalling Ushs 90bn in the 2014-2015 budget to ensure that they carry out the recruitment, training and payment of enumerators, transportation of logistics and eventually data analysis, report writing and dissemination of the results.
According to Francis Mashate, the National Census Coordinator, the government had already spent Ushs 100 billion towards the exervice.
Mashate revealed that up to 100,000 people, including 80,000 enumerators and 17,000 supervisors, will be recruited for the exercise. 80,000 will be recruited at the district level.
Government assurances on funding, according to the Census Lead team has been important in ensuring the participation of several stakeholders who now know the exercise will not be postponed.
The confirmation has also helped the body to set definitive dates for the Census – including August 27 which is the Census reference night, as well as the subsequent ten days (Aug 28-Sept 6 2014) which are days during which enumerators will move door to door gathering the information.
The Census 2014 will however create opportunities as well as challenges to the government, opposition politicians and other stakeholders engaged in the country’s development.
This is because it will provide arguably the most detailed and on-the-ground report card on the implementation of President’s manifesto on service delivery three years since he got the fourth term as well as many years of his rule.
But as Zake note, Census data is also needed by other interested parties such as local and foreign investors, development agencies because it shows availability of resources as well as needs.