By Lincoln G. Peters
The Liberia Institution of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) says all is set to conduct the 2022 National Housing and Population Census (NPHC).
LISGIS also terms completely false, untrue and misleading, information circulating about the postponement of the 2022 National Housing and Population Census. The census is expected to be conducted in October of this year.
Liberia has only conducted four National Housing and Population Census across the country. They are the 1962 population census which reported 1.1 million population; the 1974 census, 1.5 million; 1984 census with 2.1 million and the 2008 census with 3.5 million inhabitants, respectively.
This year’s census will be the fifth when conducted, and the full digital census to be conducted since the country’s independence.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, 18 May 2022 at his office, Mr. Wilmot F. Smith, Deputy Director General for Information and Coordination at LISGIS, said the Government of Liberia through LISGIS has transferred US$3 million to the census basket fund hosted by UNFPA to complete government’s contributions for the conduct of the census.
He revealed that the government has contributed more money to the census basket fund than earlier promised, adding that LISGIS is currently working with the Legislature to derive a joint resolution that empowers the Executive branch of government to issue a proclamation announcing a final date to conduct the main count respectively.
“It’s important to emphasize that in consonance with the Government of Liberia’s short-term employment scheme, LISGIS has received from the public a little over 19, 000 applications which will be vetted and incorporated to provide their services to the census process,” Mr. Smith said.
Smith detailed that LISGIS has received twenty-one thousand tablets and power banks from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for the conduct of the main enumeration phase of the 2022 National Population and Housing Census.
He noted that they are currently preparing those tablets for the data collection, adding that the preparation activities include installation of maps and Geo-codes and other important software (CSPro).
“We like to also state that the rumors circulating about the postponement of the census is completely untrue and we encourage the public to welcome LISGIS’ field staff in their respective homes during the enumeration phase in October 2022,” said Mr. Smith.
“Our field staff will be identified by their census jackets and Identification Cards (ID Cards),” the LISGIS deputy director-general noted.
After the press conference, Mr. Smith and his team took the press to the storage facility of LISGIS where equipment is stored for the conduct of the National Census. The phones and power banks were seen in sealed boxes.
In June this year, Smith said LISGIS will reopen the application platform to the public for at least two weeks for additional applications, saying the mapping process which is referred to as “structure marking” ended on 28 February 2022 with a total of 19, 226 enumeration areas (EAs).
According to him, the Geo-Information Services (GIS) technicians and consultants are currently conducting a data clean-up exercise with the expectation of producing 14, 500 enumeration areas after the current clean-up exercise.
“Prior to the completion of the mapping process, a pre-test was carried out in December 2021 using a sample size of 238 enumeration areas,” he said.