Census Waiting For Legislative Approval -Tentative Time Is October

The Government of Liberia through the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) has announced that subject to the approval of the National Legislature, the National Population and Housing Census will now take place in October 2022, allaying the fear and rumors in some quarters that the exercise has been postponed for time indefinitely.

Addressing a major press conference yesterday, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at the Headquarters of the institution, the Deputy Director General for Information Coordination and Acting Director General Mr. Wilmot Smith said that this year’s exercise will be the fifth of all censuses conducted in the country and the first fully digital census to be conducted since Independence. He said the first was conducted in 1962 which came up with the figure of 1.1 million people, the second was in 1974 with the population reported at 1.5 million, while the third and fourth came in 1984 and 2008 with 2.1 million and 3.5 million reported respectively.

Mr. Smith said the government has demonstrated its readiness to implement the project and has through LISGIS transferred US$3m to the Census Basket Fund hosted by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to complete the government’s contribution for the conduct of the census, adding that the it was important to state that the government has contributed more money to the census basket fund than earlier promised.

“The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), is currently working with the National Legislature to derive a joint resolution which empowers the Executive Branch of Government to issue a Proclamation announcing a final date to conduct the main count respectively”, Mr. Smith said.

He said in consonance with the Government of Liberia’s short-term employment scheme, LISGIS has received from the public, a little over 19,000 applications which will be vetted and incorporated to provide their services to the census process and that in addition, LISGIS will re-open the application platform to the public for at least two weeks in June, 2022 for additional applications.

“The Mapping Process which is referred to as ‘structure marking’ ended on 28th February, 2022 with a total of 19,226 Enumeration Areas (EAs). However, the GIS Technicians and consultants are currently conducting a data clean up exercise with the expectation of producing 14,500 enumeration areas after the current clean up exercise.

“Prior to the completion of the mapping process, a Pre-Test was carried out in December, 2021, using a sample size of 228 enumeration areas. The reason for conducting the pre-test was to test the questionnaires, gadgets, all of the materials and tools which will be used for the main census. Result emulating from the pre-test has been concluded and analyzed”, he said.

Smith further said that in readiness for the exercise, LISGIS has received twenty-one thousand (21,000) tablets and power banks from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for the conduct of the main enumeration phase of the 2022 National Population and Housing Census and the entity is currently preparing these tablets for the data collection, and named the preparation activities to include but not limited to installation of maps and geo-codes and other important software (CSPro)

“LISGIS will also like to state that the rumors circulating about the postponement of census is untrue and we encourage the public to welcome LISGIS field staff in their respective homes during the enumeration phase in October, 2022”, Smith concluded.

Meanwhile, journalists were taken on a guided tour of facilities put in place by LISGIS preparatory to the conduct of the census, which include warehouses stocked with gadgets, motorbikes, power banks, laptops, laboratories and storage facilities.

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