President Samia Suluhu Hassan is tomorrow expected to launch a special public awareness strategy aimed at intensively educating, encouraging and promoting participation of all people in the looming 2022 Population and Housing Census. Identified as "The Publicity and Advocacy Strategy for the National Population and Housing census, 2022" the initiative is aimed at sensitising and mobilising Tanzanians to cooperate and take part in the crucial exercise for the development of the country.

Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr. Anthony Mtaka, disclosed this during a media briefing held in the country's capital city, yesterday. "The strategy is tailored to enable every Tanzanian to participate fully in the coming census so that we achieve the desired outcomes for our development," he said. Elaborating, Mr. Mtaka noted that preparations for the event were in full gear, and called upon the city dwellers to turn out in large numbers to witness the President launching the important strategy that has been prepared by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He said her entourage will include the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, who also doubles as the Chairman of the National Census Committee and Zanzibar Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla, who is also co-Chairman of the Census Committee. On his part, NBS Acting Director for Economic Statistics, Mr. Daniel Masolwa said the launch will pave the way for a pilot census that will be carried out in 13 regions.

Mr. Masolwa noted that international principles recommendations for conducting a census require NBS to carry out a pilot survey in order to test the available tools, which will be used in the national census. Besides, the initiative also aims to seek answers for the past challenges recorded in the previous Population and Housing Census of 2012. "In the previous census, we experienced some challenges in some areas... But this time, the strategy will establish solutions and suggest best practices which can be adopted during the upcoming census to achieve good results," he pointed out.

He, however, disclosed that the strategy will also involve routine seminars to the various groups in the communities to the grassroots to ensure the people understand and answer all questions in the intended questionnaires. In a related development, the Commissioner of the 2022 Population and Housing Census, Ms. Anne Makinda has advised livestock keepers not to hide children living with disabilities during the national population census, scheduled to take place in August, next year.

Ms. Makinda noted that the objective of the census was to enable the government come up with accurate data of its people in terms of population and geographical location, so that it plans professionally for their development. "The execution of the population and housing census in the country will among other things help the government to collect important data for policy making process, and other development plans in the rollout of crucial social services for its people," Ms. Makinda, added, during sensitisation meeting for a pilot census at Pinyinyi Village and Ward of Masusu Hamlet in Arusha.

She stressed that the census will among other things help the government to embark on its plans of delivering social services from the grassroots to the national level for the welfare of the citizens. "Data obtained from the census will enable for the assessment in the delivery of health services including areas of maternal and antenatal care, water, education and other social services," noted Ms. Makinda. Elaborating, she said next year's census exercise will involve digital collection of data by using tablets, instead of papers that were used in previous exercises.

Equally, the application of new mobile Geographical Information System (GIS) technologies will assure the country come up with accurate and timely data during the census. According to her, the use of the new technologies in the 2022 census would not only ease census work-load, but also increase efficiency as well as reduce the under-coverage rate.

Hence, she called upon all Tanzanians to accord necessary cooperation to all clerks tasked in the exercise in August, next year. On his part, Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr. Raymond Mwangwala, pledged to grant all necessary cooperation to NBS during the pilot census in his area.