UNDERTAKING a census is very important for every country, and Zambia is not an exception as the statistics that are generated from the census are key inputs into decision-making and overall planning for the country.
Planning on how to achieve socio-economic development by the Government and other partners such as non-governmental and development organisations is almost impossible without accurate national statistics.
It is therefore important for the wider citizenry to embrace this activity and endeavour to provide accurate information as this information is a key input for national planning in order to deliver socio-economic development.
To start with, a census is an extremely important exercise and citizens must be aware that it is underway because:
1. People must try to make time to be available and give the enumerators the information they want to gather.
2. We live in a part of the world where rumours abound. These could range from innuendos that it is a satanic undertaking to aspersions of it being an exercise of political profiling.
3. Making people aware sensitises them to the need to give information that is absolutely truthful and not what sounds good or what is economically/ socially/ politically palatable.
But, as a nation, the significance is that a census is a basis upon which a database for whatever planning, execution and monitoring of all the programmes that the country has in its development plans.
The scope of information is huge and may include, but not limited to, national population, population distribution, age distribution, means of subsistence by citizens, educational levels and mortality rates, among other reasons.
Therefore, a census is a very important national exercise.