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Social media exposes Census 2014 flaws, information gaps


Social media exposes Census 2014 flaws, information gaps

UBOS spokesperson Godfrey Nabbongo dismissed claims that social reflected a big number of people who missed the census

A number of people this week took to social media platforms and other fora to vent their frustration for allegedly having missed out on the recently concluded Uganda Population and Housing Census 2014.

Dr. Charles Wendo, ” to mean that he was not enumerated.

Radio One’s Spectrum Producer and journalist Kenneth Lukwago also posted on his page that about 15 households in his neighbourhood were skipped by enumerators. The Sunrise cannot independently verify the veracity of the complaints.

However UBOS spokesperson Godfrey Nabbongo acknowledged that some populations especially in Kampala and Wakiso had not been reached by deadline day on September 7. Nabbongo said in order to cover the uncounted people, the bureau extended the exercise for another six days until Friday September 13 in Kampala and Wakiso.

Nabbongo however dismissed claims on social media that many people had missed out on the census, saying those that took to social media are insignificant and will not affect the outcome.

Nabbongo argued that social media commentators are usually single person households.

“For me, I take those comments with a pinch of salt. We are confident that we have captured majority of Ugandans.”

In Kampala and Wakiso where the exercise was extended, Nabbongo said the Bureau has been responding to telephone calls by people who claim to not having been enumerated.

UBOS’s National Census Coordinator Francis Mashate said the Census was more successful in villages than in urban areas. The new complaints as well as the extension however put UBOS to shame for earlier on stating that up to 97% of households had been covered.

The government of Uganda has spent over Ushs 100 billion for the 10th Uganda Census that ran from August 28 to September 7.

Some of the complaints, including Dr. Wendo’s however point to poor understanding of the census exercise that was not meant to validate someone’s nationality. As UBOS pointed out, the Census exercise was meant to count all people who spent the night of August 27 in Uganda. This included nationals as well as foreigners.

Another complainant who preferred anonymity, told The Sunrise how the enumerators failed to count him, yet the rest in his household were counted.

“I am surprised these Census people failed to count me yet other people in my house were counted,” said the source. This attitude however reveals that a number of people were not adequately sensitized or they deliberately refused to heed the census messages. UBOS clearly stated that details of individuals in a household could be delivered by the person left at home.

Jimmy Kiberu, the Corporate Affairs Officer of Uganda Development Bank reported that a shortage of census books or questionnaires was a major handicap in the exercise.

On the whole, however, social media platforms revealed that that a great number of people were anxiously waiting for the Census 2014 exercise and expressed relief when they finally received the enumerators to have them enumerated.



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