A section of elected leaders from Garissa County now wants Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to ensure that pastoralists who will have crossed the border into neighbouring countries and Counties are captured during the housing and population census slated for the night of August 24 /25.
Speaking on the sidelines of a one-day workshop to sensitize members of the county assembly on the need to support population issues, majority leader at the County Assembly Mohammed Gabow said during the last census most of the pastoralists who had moved out of their homes to neighboring countries in search of water and pasture at the time were left out.
“During the last census we missed out big and this time round we don’t want the same mistake to recur,” Gabow said.
“We want the KNBS to employ enough personnel who are able to face the challenges of the poor terrain and insecurity among others challenges and able move to right in the interior and count our people wherever they are,” he added.
Gabow claimed that if the entire population of Garissa County was well captured during the last census, the area leaders could now be pushing for splitting of the County into two.
He said they do not want the population of Garissa County to be exaggerated as alleged in some quarters.
On his part, Jarajila MCA Mahat Osman said it would be unfortunate if this time round population of the region is not well documented.
The MCA said as it stands currently, the distribution of resources in the country is based on population and ‘the accuracy of our population is important if we have to get our rightful share of the national cake.’
In the 2009 census KNBS went to court to contest the housing and population census of Mandera County.
Meanwhile National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) assistant director Francis Kondu has said that the council is out to promote quality life among Kenyans and not family planning as is being claimed by some leaders and communities.
Speaking at the same forum, Kondu said the council has been engaging the leaders from the county on population matters and how to demystify that the notion that family planning and use of contraceptives ‘are one and the same thing’.
“Family planning is a form of population control and is being used by other communities to plan their families but it’s not the only method of family control. In any case we are not saying that people should stop multiplying, but have children that you can manage,” he said.
The assistant director was reacting to claims that the council is promoting family planning through the usage of contraceptives among women.
Fatuma Khalif a nominated MCA said as Muslim women they are strongly opposed to the use of contraceptives as a form of family planning, adding that it is against their faith.
By Jacob Songok