Monday August 11 2014

Migingo residents to be left out of national census

Migingo Island lies in both Uganda and Kenya waters

Migingo Island lies in both Uganda and Kenya waters and this has created disputes regarding its ownership. File PHOTO 

By Yahudu Kitunzi

Ugandans residing on the disputed Migingo Island will not be counted during the census until Uganda and her neighbour Kenya agree on who owns the rocky area in Lake Victoria.
The national population and Housing Census commences on August 28 and ends on September 6, 2014.

Mr Francis Mashate, the national population census coordinator, while meeting sub-county chiefs at Rest Ville Hotel in Mbale on Thursday, explained that they have decided not to conduct the census on the island until the rightful owner is determined.

“We decided to leave Migingo Island out as we prepare for the national population and housing census because there is a conflict of ownership between Uganda and Kenya. Therefore, it is risky to dispatch our staff to conduct the exercise there,” he said.

Mr Mashate said after getting reports that the Uganda government is going to conduct the national census exercise there, Kenya authorities deployed security operatives to block the exercise.

He said it was unwise for the Uganda Bureau of Statistics to get entangled in the border conflict. He also pointed out that the Island is too far and that dispatching the equipment and staff could be very costly for the secretariat as transport means to the area is very difficult to get.

Mr Mashate appealed to the leaders in Migingo to register households in their respective areas in order to help government plan for them so that they do not miss on government programs.

“We, have therefore, asked our LC I officials there to give us the number of people and households found on the island so we can determine the population there,” Mr Mashate added.