THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has warned against adulteration of population figures as inaccurate statistics would always mislead policy makers and eventually affect planning of development projects.
Addressing journalists at the NBS Headquarters in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the Population and Housing Census (2012) Commissioner, Hajjat Amina Mrisho, articulated the need to have correct statistics in record, a practice which would facilitate implementation of Big Results Now initiative. "On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 we (NBS) will launch a volume or manuscript on population data based on age and gender.
The information gives insight on the size and quality of social services provided to the people. "Cheating on the number of people at a particular location will not be tolerated. Social services such as health, education, water supply among others require accurate data.
The necessary cross-check mechanism has been put in place for monitoring by different levels of administration," she clarified. Past experience indicated that, she added, some of entrusted individuals lied for personal interests on the size of population in the area.
"The practice should be abandoned forthwith as the central data control information which is monitored by experts will expose anyone giving wrong statistics," she said.
However, the commissioner does not play down possible changes due to death or child bearing saying that regular update of the website www. nbs.go.tz would be sustained for reliable references.
Clarifying on community awareness drive, the Census Commissioner said members of the national census committee would visit all regions and district councils and work closely with councillors and other levels of leadership to disseminate the necessary information on age, gender and other population aspects. "For example, it is necessary to know the number of children and their age status.
This will help in planning for schools and other necessities. As for the adult population, proper records will determine the volume of relief needed in case of food shortage," she explained.
Official information indicates that the 2012 Population and Housing Census (PHC), was carried out on the 26th August, 2012. The exercise established that the population of Tanzania is 44.9 million.
Out of the number the Male population stands at 21.8 million (49 per cent) and Female population 23.1 million (51 per cent). This was the fifth Census after the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964.
Other Censuses were carried out in 1967, 1978, 1988 and 2002. The 2012 PHC, like others, will contribute to the improvement of quality of life of Tanzanians through the provision of current and reliable data for development planning, policy formulation and service delivery as well as for monitoring and evaluating national and international development frameworks.
The 2012 PHC is unique in the sense that the information collected will be used in monitoring and evaluating the Development Vision 2025 for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar Development Vision 2020, Five Year Development Plan 2011/12 - 2015/16, National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) commonly known as MKUKUTA and Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP) commonly known as MKUZA.
The census will also provide information for the evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.