Government Allocates SD10 million For Census Preparation

By Alfred Soka

The Government of National Unity (GONU) has given nearly ten million Sudanese dinars for the preparation of the population census scheduled to take place in November 2007, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Chief Technical Advisor for Sudan Fifth Population Census, Herbert Borbor Kandeh stated recently. He stated that the government has given another amount for the coming two months preparation for covering the field, in terms of mapping the area.

Kandeh cited that they have finished with the training of trainers, six per a state to start mapping the villages and towns. He pointed out that mapping will begin in the coming six to seven months. And that this preparation while the final day of the census would be decreed by the President. The Chief disclosed that the Census Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Northern sector met recently, adding that three months ago GoSS set up a number of committees for the census preparations.

Media Advocacy committee is also meeting to strategize on the census. Chief Kandeh told the Khartoum Monitor that they have planned for a pilot census that is supposed to begin this November, but that that they are only waiting for the government decision on when it begins. The pilot census is supposed to begin a year before the main census, which is scheduled for this November, explained the Chief. He complained of the lack of time in preparations.

"We are running out of time, but we have to be sure that we cover the whole country by marking households in mapping system before the census", he said. Kandeh reiterated that in the coming census if significant parts are inaccessible then the efficacy of such a census is limited. But that it will also depend on the governments decision.

Giving the example of the 1993 census which covered the north and part of the south of being of limited usefulness. "No body needs partial census", he clarified. "If some people are left out it will affect planning, power sharing as well as wealth sharing of the nation", he reiterated further. Chief Kandeh cautioned that Sudanese people should make participate in the coming census and exercise their legal right.

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