KNBS readies for national census expected to kick off on August 24

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi during 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census [David Njaaga, Standard]

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has announced that the 2019 national census will kick off on August 24, ending 31.

This will be the first time Kenya will have its first digital census.

In a press briefing on Monday, KNBS said its agents will be issued with tablets that will have an application to help collect the data.

The enumeration clerks will be required to feed data into the gadgets before it is transmitted to a central database.

While issuing a statement on the state of preparation of the exercise, KNBS Director General Zachary Mwangi said it has done pilot census and have finalized mapping of the country for the process.

"We normally conduct pilot census one year to kick off and this was done a year ago. We have tested the questionnaire and checked the adequacy of the personal administering the data. I can confirm the pilot census was successfully done in August 2018," he said.

Mwangi also said data on agriculture would be key in supporting the Big Four Agenda. The previous census only captured livestock data and did not collect data on agriculture.

"Besides extensive use of technology, this census would also have more details on agriculture to cover the type of crops cultivated by households, aquaculture and livestock," he added.

The census will focus on eight key areas, among them population characteristics, disability, education, labour force, ICT, livestock, agriculture, housing conditions and amenities as well as household assets.

Mwangi said the agency also planned to capture the homeless, immigrants and people at hotels to ensure everyone was counted.

The gadgets would be tested to ensure they work properly before the D-Day.

The KNBS Director General said there are temporary positions for field personnel advertised. These include ICT supervisors, content supervisors and enumerators.

"KNBS started hiring census staff in June. It expects to have 135,000 enumerators, 27,000 content supervisors, 2,700 ICT supervisors alongside village elders and security personnel. The census staff will only be hired at the regional offices," he said.

Kenya's population is currently estimated at 45 million people.

Data entry in the 2009 census took six months.

The 2009 census cost 80 million US dollars and was 90 per cent government funded while the 2019 census is expected to cost more.