Caritas –Zambia in Solwezi has advised the government to consider extending the exercise for a week.
Caritas – Zambia Director, Noel Haaninga says there are a lot of things that went wrong when the census exercise commenced such as intimidation to the enumerators by members of the general public which he says could have jeopardized the exercise thereby making enumerators avoid certain places.
Fr. Haaninga says if the government does not consider extending the exercise, the data that may be given to the nation may not reflect the true picture of the population of Zambia,
Fr. Haaninga explained during an interview that some enumerators did not go in some areas because fear was instilled in them following what was happening in some provinces.
” We noted that the people that were gong round doing the exercise had challenges in terms of…some people were not cooperating. There are cases that were recorded where there was one that was beaten in Chilanga district simply because he was found getting information from the wife of somebody.
” Fear was put into these people who were doing this exercise so they didn’t in certain cases do a good job,” Fr. Haaninga said.
This entails that the data that enumerators were meant to collect was not collected hence the need to give the exercise more days.
The development is not only disadvantageous the nation as a whole because government may be making plans for the nation using miss informed data.
“What is the way forward? For us as Caritas we want to make a very earnest appeal to the government to consider extending this exercise if for sure we want to capture correct information, let government extend the exercise even for a week.
Meanwhile, North-western Regional Statistician, Janet Zulu said the only challenges they faced were on district and constituency boundaries in some places where some people could refuse to be counted on account that they belonged to another district.
” We experienced some challenges which were not really serious..the only challenges we experienced were to do with boundaries, distinct boundaries, constituency boundaries.
“ Sometimes when we get to a certain area the people there would inform us that no this is not Solwezi. This is Kalumbila or this is not Mushindamo it is Chingola..but we were able to resolve those issues,” Ms. Zulu said.
She said apart from boundaries challenges, the province did not experience issues of enumerators being harassed by members of the community.
Ms. Zulu has appealed to the members of the community to continue cooperating as the enumerators do the wrap up the exercise tomorrow where they will be going back into the field to do final verification of the exercise household by households.
She has since thanked the people of North-western province for the cooperating with the enumerators during the exercise.