In two weeks Kenyans will once again be obligated to fulfill a civic duty as the great citizens of this country that they pledge their allegiance to. On two nights, August 24 and 25, government’s agents will conduct a head count in what will finally terminate in the nearly accurate number of Kenyans.
The census is a hugely significant exercise for the country. Data, as the world now knows, is key in planning of any form and this is why the government should get this exercise absolutely right. Indeed, the margins of error should be almost nonexistent.
While public service announcements will be made to sensitise the citizenry on the importance of this task, the State should do all in its power to make sure everything goes as planned. Previous attempts at this have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many, with even preliminary data taking months before getting released.
Politicians should also refrain from making unfounded allegations on the findings of the census. Historically, regional political kingpins have been known to bastardise results based on the numbers and twist the facts of this highly scientific process to fit warped narratives.
Certain regions of this country are at a crossroads. Security, which should be a right for the citizens and an obligation for the State remains a rumour for huge tracts of certain regions.
Parts of the coastal strip, the Rift Valley and huge chunks of northern Kenya remain unpoliced 56 years after independence. During this two-night exercise, security agencies should aim at maintaining law and order at acceptable levels and hopefully carry over this vigilance even after the census exercise.
As a people, there are times when the government has called on the population to come out in numbers and register in previous processes shrouded in mystery with little or incoherent explanation on their need. The census, however, is one of the exercises that should logically make sense for Kenyans.
Data from this exercise will be key in resource allocation and socio-economic planning. Let us get counted. But even as we do, let us hope that the data curated will count in the long term. Also, here’s to hoping that this will not be another avenue through which Kenyans will lose money to corrupt cartels that are without doubt planning yet another heist. We simply cannot take any more of such losses.
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