Uganda Census 2024: Technical faults delay kickoff of enumeration in Kamuli, Lira

By Tukei Joseph & Ambrose Okai

Kamuli, (UG):- The Uganda Bureau of Statistics Friday kicked off the 2024 National Population and Housing Census but Kamuli and Lira Districts were marred by the severity of technical challenges of the tablets used by enumerators.

In the Southern Division of Kamuli Municipality, Mr Kisame Wilberforce one of the enumerators who was deployed in Kananage B-C told DailyExpress that the CAPI/Tab which was given to him is not working and has no data.

“On machines, we have been used to using training mode. Now they activate census mode with a few modalities. That’s where most enumerators are finding difficulties”, he said.

“The machine is not working and I don’t have data I have been using a hotspot from my phone but it’s now used up I don’t know whether I will finish the exercise in time”, he added. 

However, Rose Birungi the RDC Kamuli district admitted that there were  some technical problems though have been sorted out by technicians from UBOS and the exercise started smoothly 

“The exercise started smoothly however some enumerators faced some challenges on how to use and operate the Tab because it was in training mode, not census mode and it was fixed by the UBOS Technicians”.

“We also learnt that there are people who applied to enumerate but they didn’t train however UBOS has sent a list of people who are going to replace them”.

She also encouraged all people to be counted because it is important.” I encourage all people to obey and get counted as the government it will help us to plan for the population”, she said.

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In Lira City, some of the supervisors and numerators assigned to different areas attributed the work delay to the late distribution of the tablets, poor coordination of deployment and lack of transport means.

Daniel Ojok, one of the supervisors assigned in Anai Ward in Lira City told DailyExpress at around 12pm PM that over 280 enumerators and 64 supervisors were still stranded at Lira City Council hall waiting for clarification from the city authority.

‘’The work actually delayed due to late distribution of the tablets, poor coordination of deployment and lack of transport means that was not clear to us,’’ Ojok said.

Moses Okullo Opio, the Chairperson LC1 of Okwor-Okwor Cell and LC One Chairpersons for Lira City East division said by 10 AM none of the enumerators had shown up in the area and that, his community members were calling him to know the time at which the exercise would begin.

‘’We were told enumerators would be here by 10 AM but I have not yet seen any single enumerator in my area. However the locals here are very ready for the exercise,’’ Okullo Opio said in a telephone interview.

Winnie Akao who is supervising the Population census in Blue Corner South and Blue Corner West said during the initial stage of the program, Lira city authority pledged them 10000 for the days spent on training.

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It is however not clear whether the training of numerators was to be paid but Robert Okello Ayo, the spokesperson for Lira City Council says all employed for enumeration would get money but not promptly.

The 2024 Uganda National Population and Housing Census exercise which started today 10th May will last for 10 days up to 19th May 2024.

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