TANZANIA will on Sunday, August 26, hold the National Population and Housing Census and according to various officials co-ordinating the exercise preparations are going on well.
The exercise, scheduled to run from Sunday to September 2, will be the country's fifth census since independence.Government officials and other stakeholders at all levels have, for several months, been aggressively campaigning and engaged in public education to mobilise the public to take part in the exercise.
Religious leaders and other influential people in the society were also involved in the campaigns, which aim at ensuring everyone who will be in the country on Sunday is counted.The Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, rightly said at the inauguration of the census campaigns in Dar es Salaam last week that every citizen should participate in the exercise.
He stressed that remaining absent is tantamount to undermining the government and causing immense loss to national resources. Available information indicate that Tanzania's 2012 census will cost 141.5bn/- , with the government providing 70 per cent of the funds and development partners assisting with the rest.
Thousands of enumerators have been recruited and are going to be deployed throughout the country to ensure that all necessary information on individuals is duly recorded for the purpose of development planning.
It is hoped that the enumerators will do their duty diligently and with maximum commitment.Census is of crucial importance to national development since it enables planners to collect important information on demographic trends such as the number of people in the country.Previous censuses were held in 1967, 1978, 1988 and 2002.
The last count showed that there were 34,443,603 people living in Tanzania -- 33,461,849 living on the mainland and 981,754 in Zanzibar. It is now estimated that the population currently stands at 43.6 million.
However, factors like HIV-related deaths, infant and maternal mortality rates and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex must be taken into account. Official sources show that Tanzanians aged from 0-14 years constitute 42 per cent of the population, while those aged from 15-64 years are 55.1 per cent and 65 years and above are 2.9 per cent.
The information further indicates that the urban population comprises 26 per cent of the total population, while the annual urbanisation rate stands 4.7 per cent. All this information is important for planning of health, education, water supply and power generation projects. Let everyone take part in this important exercise.