The 2023 Population & Housing Census enumeration officially starts today and will conclude on 3 November. The census enumeration is where all households and dwelling units are enumerated.
The information that is sought consists of demographic, social and economic nature.
The demographics part concerns itself with how many people are in Namibia, how old they are, whether they are male or female and where they live.
The census questions also want to find out the social indicators, such as education levels, employment conditions and other indicators.
In terms of households, the census wants to understand the living conditions of people living in Namibia. This includes that type of housing structure - whether there is access to water and electricity, as well as the sanitation situation.
It also seeks to understand access to information and communication technology in Namibia.
Most of you will agree that the use and ownership of cellphones has increased dramatically - to the extent that sometimes there are more cellphones than people in certain rooms or conferences.
The census enumeration will consist of two phases, namely the normal counting as well as the post-enumeration survey (PES).
The normal enumeration takes place until 13 October; whilst, the post-enumeration survey, which is a quality assurance exercise, is sample-based and runs from 18 October until 3 November.
Quality statistics is one of the most important aspects of statistics since statistics that are not qualitative are of no use and might mislead planners and implementers. Therefore, it will be critical to take part in the sample-based post-enumeration survey as well.
Often, we receive questions of why individuals should take part in the census, and whether it is compulsory to be counted and enumerated.
Firstly, you are important, and you count. Your very presence and being, plus being part of Namibia is important to us, and we want to know about you. Accurate data can only be derived when people are indeed counted and provide accurate information.
The information provided is legally confidential and anonymous, meaning it cannot be traced to any individual. The law also requires that all persons in Namibia
take part in the census, and refusing unnecessarily may bring a heavy fine, imprisonment or both.
The Namibia Statistics Agency has never gone this route to deal with those who do not want to be enumerated and wish to never have to enforce the law in such matters. NSA prefers that the nation provides information voluntarily, as it is better for all and enhances quality.
The census will be conducted with strict support and assistance from law enforcement agencies. Therefore, those who harbour any ideas of engaging in criminal activities, such as targeting households or census enumerators, will be severely dealt with by law enforcement agencies.
The advice here is to rather be a law-abiding person and not invite the wrath of the law enforcement agencies upon yourself.
The census happens only every ten years and should normally not be of too much bother for anyone to participate; the information will assist everyone to make better and more informed decisions, and it will help the country to correctly deal with the various social and economic challenges.
Therefore, the census is here; do play your part and make sure you are counted. If you have not been counted by 6 October 2023, call NSA on 061 431 3200 or contact us on all social media platforms. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com so that you can be counted. We appreciate the nation's support. Thank you
*Iipumbu Sakaria is the manager for corporate communications at the Namibia Statistics Agency.