Census mapping on hold amid coronavirus outbreak
24 March 2020 | Local News
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has put the census mapping exercise on hold in response to the coronavirus state of emergency declared by President Hage Geingob.
The census mapping started in October 2019 and was scheduled to run until November 2020, with mop-up activities until next year before the main census in August 2021. The agency's statistician-general and CEO Alex Shimuafeni in a media statement last Friday said the exercise has been put on hold until 14 April or until the situation stabilises.
“The halting of this activity is necessitated by the fact that mapping field staff are expected to visit numerous houses for face-to-face interviews, which may increase the risk of infection of the mapping staff as well as for the household members responding to our survey,” he said.
The purpose of census mapping is to demarcate the country into uniquely defined units of enumeration areas (EAs). The EAs provide an accurate national geographic frame to conduct censuses, which in this case is the 2021 census.
In addition, mapping collects detailed information regarding the use of built-up structures, which cannot be obtained during an office exercise and such output will contribute to the development of a statistics business register.
The CEO said census mapping has been completed in the Zambezi Region and the team is currently busy with Khomas, where they have already completed four rounds.
The NSA further said the halting of the exercise will delay the envisaged completion date.
“However, NSA is looking at ways to strengthen two field teams to ensure the census mapping is completed well in time for the main census.”
It also assured the public that it will be able to implement the census pilot in August 2020 with the sufficient number of EAs to test tools and methodologies.
This is one year before the commencement of the main census, which complies with international recommendations and best practices. The main census will run from 29 August 2021 to end of September 2021.