Ghana: Attacks and Intimidation of Census Official Backward

13 December 2019

Population census commonly refers to the complete count of persons and housing units found in a country on a fixed date.

Most countries conduct census every 10 years and data generated is used for development agenda of the country.

Many countries also conduct separate censuses of agriculture, manufacturing, business among other. These censuses have for several years become the chief sources for national statistics and for international comparisons.

Population census is, therefore, very important and it is for this reason that the government is embarking on a population census next year.

The most recent population and housing census was conducted in 2010 which was the fifth, coming after those conducted in 1960, 1970, 1984 and 2000.

The government has earmarked 2020 to conduct the sixth national population census to count the people living in the country.

However reports reaching the Ghanaian Times indicate that field officials detailed to collect data for next year's population and data census are being harassed and intimidated.

According to the report, a field staff of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) gathering data at Kwabenya, a suburb near Accra, was arrested and sent to the police station after he was wrongfully identified as a thief.

This is unfortunate and a development that is completely against the essence of the census.

First of all, the GSS is mandated by law to undertake population and housing census every 10 years to enable the government develop plans and strategies to enhance national development.

It is, therefore, surprising that a staff of the service who are working in the interest of the country would be attacked for doing their work.

It is completely unacceptable for members of the public to attack the officers under the false accusation and prevent them from carrying out their duties.

Fact is, data and statistics cannot be conjured and it takes the field officers to generate the data in the communities across the country for national development.

Without successful adequate and accurate data, the country cannot develop. We all depend on the census field offices for such information and we expect everyone to cooperate with them to ensure that the exercise is successful.

We employ the GSS to ensure adequate security for the field officers through the security services and to punish members of the public who would disrupt the work of the staff.

There is the need for everybody to ensure that the national populations in 2020 ends successfully.

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