Home Governance Gambia needs approx USD 4 mn fund for GIS-based Census

Gambia needs approx USD 4 mn fund for GIS-based Census

Gambia: Budget for the GIS-based 5th National Population and Housing Census in 2013 is estimated to be more than USD 4 million, according to Nyakassi MB Sanyang, Statistician General at the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS). Sanyang made this announcement while presenting the annual report and audited financial statement of GBoS, before the Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC), of the National Assembly.

Sanyang informed the Committee that the 2013 Census has both long and short-term objectives. The short-term objectives include:
– To develop skills of the GBoS staff;
– To collect and analyse geospatial data;
– To improve availability, accessibility and utilisation of census outputs in a timely manner;
– To identify population characteristics for the purpose of guiding social-economic policies and programmes;
– To update the enumeration area maps and district maps for use in sampling frame for inter-censual surveys;
– To establish an integrated GIS for the purpose of producing thematic maps; and
– To build a data processing system that produce tables for publication and further analysis as well as proper archiving of census data.

The long-term objectives include:
– To improve the knowledge on main characteristics of the population in the country to better understand the interrelationships of the population and development;
– To build a data capture system that is sustainable and always available for document management for the GBoS and other government departments/agencies;
– To analyse demographic and related socio-economic data/information at the national and sub-national levels, publish reports on thematic areas and disseminate these findings through seminars, workshops, internet and the mass media to engender wider access to information and for better integration of demographic variables in developing planning; and
– To establish a geo-reference system of demographic and socio-economic information or planning and management.

He revealed that preparation of the 2013 Population and Housing Census has been already started in 2011 with the mapping exercise key among the preparatory activities. He also disclosed that The Gambia is for the first time using modern GIS technology in census mapping, adding that with this technology, high quality census maps would be produced using satellite imagery while a GIS database will be developed.

He continued: “Recruitment and training for the mapping exercise was done in the second quarter of 2011. The actual mapping started in June 2011 both in the field and in office. For the field mapping exercise, teams were constituted and all teams were deployed to start the exercise in the URR. The official launch of the 2013 census mapping was also held in Basse, URR in July 2011 and it coincides with the national celebration of the World Population Day held in that region.”

The GBoS statistician general further informed the Committee that field mapping was successfully completed in URR and Banjul by the end of 2011, and that some teams have moved into CRR. He explained that to further build national capacity in GIS, a team was hired by UNFPA to conduct a two-week intensive training in GIS for the GIS assistants and some GBoS staff.

Source: Daily Observer