By Isaac Vuni
February 16, 2008 (JUBA) — The fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census will kicks off from 15th 30th April 2008, the Chairman of Southern Sudan Census and statistics Commission Isaiah Chol Aruai has reveled today.
He appeals to media houses and individuals to assist in dissemination of census information to cross section of Southern Sudanese
In a statement read on his behalf, today, at press discussion forum, by Margaret Labanya, Director for administration and Finance says, “it’s now official that the 5th Sudan population and Housing census will take place between 15 to 30th /4/2008 .the confirmation was contained in a presidential degree number 40 issued on 12th February this year”
There were attempts made in 1955-1956, 1973- 1983 and 1993, the5th Population and housing census will be the first all inclusive census for people of southern Sudan since Sudan became independence in January 1956.
According to United Nations recommendation a country is expected to conduct a population census every ten years.
The Sudan 5th census has been planned since 2003 but was postponed due to peace negotiations that were going on at the time.
When the CPA was signed it was agreed that census be held ahead of elections and a national referendum to determine self determination or unity of Sudan and Southern Sudan Census Commission and Statistic Evaluation was mandated to carry out census activities in Southern Sudan while the Central Bureau of statistics in Khartoum take charge of northern Sudan.
Census information are based on size, distribution, composition and other socio-economic developments since the last census and to assess the current welfare needs of southern Sudanese population as well as to prepare a realistic future development needs.
The forthcoming political census holds significant importance to people of Southern Sudan for redistribution and sharing of power and resources between the south and the north, hence the de-facto method was adopted for 5th Sudan population and housing census to count people who slept in a particular household on the census night of 14th April 2008.
Pelad Naufua, technical advisor for census said Census is the largest government operation to be undertakes in term of mobilization of resources in a country. He noted that GoSS needed 10,000 to 30,000 enumerators from ten states of Southern Sudan whose principal representatives are due to start training from Monday next week.
He told members of forth estate that the 5th Sudan population and Housing census is a political driven census meant to determine power distribution in the assembly including wealth sharing and also to determine who is a southern and northern in order to determine who is eligible to vote in the forthcoming referendum in 2011. Hence we are going to ask a straight question of, are you a southern or northern Sudanese and from where are your origin and expect people to be honest in their answers for better result of the political driven census.
The Deputy Director of Information, GoSS ministry of Information and Broadcasting,. Lucky Ako said ministry of information is involved in census advocacy and publicity campaign and that the main objectives of census campaign is to create a national and public awareness on the importance of census for socio-economic planning, convincing heads of households to provide accurate and correct data and also to point out to them the consequences of inadequate information, to enlist the support and collaboration of the political, traditional, religious and community leaders together with other influential groups such as national and non governmental organizations including individuals for attaining census objectives while assuring them of confidentiality of data they provided.
However, Ako wondered whether Southern Sudan Commission for Census and Statistic have adequately informed cross section of southern Sudan since the commission has failed to fund information dissemination and publicity to masses of southern Sudanese who have the right to be inform in order to make objective decision while the census is just two months to start.
The Director for Census, Adwok Chol, says the commission is experiencing difficulties in materials distribution to the ten states of southern Sudan.
Chol went on saying that the total budget for government of Southern Sudan 5th Sudan Population and Housing Census stood at 102.9 million American dollars and that government of national unity has committed to fund the larger share of 69 million dollars while the rest will be met with partners such as the World Bank/Multi Donor Trust Fund, European Union, DANAID, USAID, UNFPA, French Cooperation, US Census Bureau of Statistic and Statistic of Norway among others.
He further stated that Budget for training and enumeration was US$ 15,336,170, but it increased to 15,380, 273 due to increase in recruitment of personnel from 28,000 to 100,000 and the principal trainers also increased from 65,320 to 124,790 personnel. Meanwhile Census field enumeration rose from 7,000,000 to 8,131,314 hence their payment also rose from 72,000 to 150,000 American dollars.
Mr. Chol said so fat the commission received only eight million American dollars from government of national unity against required budget of $ 15,380,273 -8,000,000=7,380,273 and balance waiting to be release.
When asked whether Census commission will transport Southern Sudanese in refugees camps to participate in the forthcoming 5th Sudan population and housing census, the Census Director, Mr. Chol say it’s the responsibility of Goss government to ensure that Southern Sudan Relief Commission in collaboration with UNHCR facilitates refugees repatriation in time. Regarding omission of religious and ethnicity identification from questioner form, he said the decision was taken by the presidency hence nobody can question it.
The media briefing was attended by Mr. Sinclair, Advisor of Goss Information Ministry,Edward Ladu Tereso, senior advocacy publicity officer of southern Sudan Census commission.