What you need to know:
- The government agency last month embarked on a mapping exercise ahead of the forthcoming National Housing and Population Census set for August 2023
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) has said it is struggling to collect data in Acholi Sub-region due to misconceptions about their activities among communities.
The government agency last month embarked on a mapping exercise ahead of the forthcoming National Housing and Population Census set for August 2023.
Mr David Ocieng, the Ubos head of department at risk and compliance at the weekend, said several people are sceptical about where and how the data will be used.
“We found out that in the recent past, these communities experienced a series of land disputes and wrangles with some pitting community members against the government and now they think some data could be used to grab their land,” Mr Ocieng said.
As a result, he said the bureau is also struggling to collect data under the Uganda Business Inquiry 2022, which has been ongoing since February and is expected to end in January next year.
“People are objecting that providing information leading to their properties is simple, others think we will share their details with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for taxation, grabbing their properties. The bureau of statistics does not grab land, they don’t provide your data to URA,” Mr Ocieng added.
Ms Sharon Apio, a senior statistician at Ubos, said the misconception is further manifested in the low coverage of data collected for the implementation of the Parish Development Model, which so far stands at only 41 percent.
Ms Apio said they have resolved to recruit more officials for the exercise and sensitise the community through the media and engagement of political leaders and other stakeholders to change the mindset of the community.
“We have had challenges in accelerating the census, and now with the Cabinet giving directive on when the census will be done. We are trying to move fast, we are hopeful that three months before the census, the mapping would have been done,” she said.
Mr Ballington P`Ongwec, the Bungatira Sub-county councillor in Gulu District, urged the bureau to involve the local leadership in demystifying such misconceptions.
“Our people believe in what we tell them, this calls for the involvement of the local leaders other than bringing someone who might not be from the village to ask these questions, it raises concerns,” Mr Ongwec said.
The statistics body will conduct the national census on August 24 to August 25 next year.
The country last conducted a population census in 2014.