Keetmanshoop — Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) statistician general Alex Shimuafeni said the State could prosecute residents who refuse to provide information to enumerators during the process of census.
Shimuafeni said this during a visit to the south last week to give an update on the census mapping exercise taking place in the //Kharas region.
"The Statistics Act of 2011 mandates NSA to lay criminal charges against people refusing to provide information needed or to be interviewed; such persons can be handed a custodial sentence of five years, a fine of N$50 000 or both," Shimuafeni explained.
He also said the current mapping of households, dwellings and other institutions are carried out to demarcate areas for planning purposes, ahead of the national census that is planned for September next year.
"Please do not hesitate to request enumerators for valid, authentic identification when knocking on your door; it is your right to do so," Shimuafeni assured residents.
"Through accessing census information collected, the business and insurance fraternity can benefit a lot in terms of people's needs to be addressed and their life expectancy."
In terms of the current Covid-19 pandemic, he said the NSA is fully aware of the disruption it has caused - and, as a result, they are planning their activities accordingly to curb the further spread of the virus.
"Enumerators are constantly wearing face masks, sanitising their hands and maintaining the prescribed social distance," he added.
The statistician general also said, as opposed to the 2011 census, where information was recorded on different forms, all information would be entered through the use of information technology devices this time around.
He added that only one person would be interviewed per household in a properly ventilated area.
"We did not face any challenges with the mapping process so far and does also not foresee any during census next year," he continued.
//Kharas chief regional officer Beatus Kasete, who was interviewed at his residence in the Krönlein suburb of Keetmanshoop, described the process as a good experience.
He also underscored census as a very important exercise in the country, equally to elections.
"Please allow NSA staff access to your properties and provide them with the information required, as it is for the good of the nation," he urged residents.