President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied political and religious leaders to support the forthcoming census.
While launching the official countdown to the national exercise yesterday at KICC in Nairobi, Uhuru pleaded with leaders and stakeholders to encourage the public to participate.
“I urge all political and religious leaders, the business community, the media and civil societies to use their platforms to encourage all persons within their spheres to cooperate fully to ensure the census is a success,” Uhuru said.
And to show the seriousness of the outcome of the August 24-31 exercise, President Kenyatta said the data from it will inform boundary delineation at constituency and ward levels.
“The exercise will be the first since devolution and will be useful in devolution since it will guide equitable distribution of resources and also guide delineation of boundaries in constituencies and wards,” said Uhuru.
This means unless numbers increase for about 27 constituencies currently existing despite not meeting the required population of a minimum of about 170,000, massive changes could be underway.
Split or merger
The resultant effect is that some constituencies might be split and others merged.
Uhuru told the stakeholders that measures had been put in place to ensure every Kenyan was counted and it was up to the players to do their part by intensifying campaigns.
He added that special measures had been put in place to ensure pastoral communities and those working in emergency sectors such as hospitals were enumerated.
Uhuru said the travel industry has been directed to ensure middle and long distance travels during the period were limited to staff who have been counted.
While praising the 2019 census as the first to be conducted digitally, the President said there was a detailed focus on data of disadvantaged persons and the less privileged.
Street families, persons living with disability and the elderly are among the special considerations, with Uhuru promising to ensure future development plans reaches them all.
“The fruits of development must be accessible to all and without discrimination. We must ensure Kenyans access opportunities in an equitable manner,” said Uhuru.
He asked Kenyans to welcome enumerators to their homes, saying security measures had been put in place.
“The Ministry of Interior has taken necessary steps to ensure the census takes place seamlessly and in a safe environment,” said the President.
Uhuru asked Kenyans not to ignore the call for the national counting saying it was an opportunity for the government to plan effectively on service delivery.
“We do this because we know census data is an important tool for effectively planning and monitoring our country’s development across all spheres,” he said.
National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said census materials were already at the counties.