Heavy rainfall has been cited as one of the challenges affecting the ongoing Kenya Population and Housing Census exercise in Vihiga County.
A survey carried by Kenya News Agency (KNA) revealed current heavy rains pounding several parts in the county had greatly affected the pace of ongoing national head count in Vihiga County with enumerators appealing to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to provide them with protective wear in order to enable them discharge their duties without unnecessary breaks.
“We are appealing to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to provide us with umbrellas, raincoats and gumboots to mitigate rainy weather and enable us cover enough ground during daytime,” appealed John Ishuga who spoke on behalf of the team.
The enumerators further cited absentee household owners as another challenge they were facing. “Several of the already visited homesteads were yet to be counted due to unavailability of the owners,” claimed Ishuga.
“Some of our enumerators have visited such homesteads more than once without success,” he added and appealed to owners of affected homesteads to alert concerned enumerators using mobile telephone numbers left behind.
Speaking to KNA in his Mbale office, County Statistics Officer (CSO), Emon Ouma confirmed KNBS did not factor in its budget provision for such items to cushion the enumerators against rainy weather.
“We, however, encourage our team to bear with the situation,” said Ouma who urged the enumerators to make use of what is available even if it was personal.
“It is true the heavy rains pounding most parts of the county daily is affecting the ongoing census exercise,” agreed Ouma who added that each of the enumerators is supposed to cover an average of 20 households, according to the CSO.
With five days remaining before end of the national head count, the county statistics boss urged area residents to fully participate in the exercise.
“Enumerators in rural areas work between 6am and 9pm while those in urban centres are expected to stretch up to 10pm,” clarified Ouma over the issue of working hours.
By Maurice Aluda