Population census off to a slow start

Francinah Baaitse Mmana
COUNTED: Kgosi Tawana Moremi with the enumerator

The national population and housing census has been off to a slow start in Maun due to technical glitches, the Assistant District commissioner in Maun Administrative Authority (MAA), Ramogaupi Gaborekwe, has said.

Two weeks behind schedule, the census finally began at the Batawana royal home in Maun last Monday with only one enumerator on the job.

Out of 287 enumerators set to cover the whole of Ngamiland East, only one started work on Monday because other tablets were not yet configured, explained Gaborekwe.

Gaborekwe leads the Ngamiland East census team that includes Maun and surrounding villages such as Sehithwa, Toteng, Chanoga and Makalamabedi among others.

“We are having problems with gadgets and with technology, the tablets are not yet configured and that is what caused the delay, otherwise we are all set,” Gaborekwe explained.

The assistant DC went on to explain that his office will gradually issue gadgets as and when they are configured for the rest of the enumerators to commence work.

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“Once a gadget is ready, it is issued out to an enumerator,” Gaborekwe said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the counting started at the Batawana royal home in Maun where the tribe’s paramount chief, Kgosi Tawana Moremi, briefly met with the media to issue a word of encouragement to his people and asked them to peacefully open their homes to enumerators.

“It is important to know the proper estimates of our population as this guides national development plans, including division of constituencies,” explained Moremi before urging the community to “kindly cooperate with them.”

Botswana’s population census began last week across many districts following its postponement last year due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which has so far killed 2,619 people in Botswana.

In the last census that took place in 2011, Botswana’s population stood at 2 024 904.

With a growth rate of slightly above two percent, Statistics Botswana has estimated that the population of Botswana may increase from about 2 024 904 persons in 2011 to about 2 565 855 persons in 2026.

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In the population projections for Botswana, 2011-2026 report published in November 2015, Statistics Botswana further estimated that in Ngamiland East, there is a high possibility of a scenario of a total population growth from 90 334 persons in 2011 to 114 025 persons in 2022 including rural and urban dwellers.

The current census, which was to begin on March 18th, 2022 is set to be concluded on the 31st of the same month.

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