The two-week 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC) scheduled for October is estimated to cost about GH¢ 70 million, Dr Grace Bediako, the Government Statistician, has said.
She said government had released funds for 60 per cent of the budget while development partners had pledged to support although there would be a gap of about GH¢20 million which had to be worked on.
Some of the development partners are UNFPA, UNICEF, DFID, CIDA and DANIDA.
Dr Bediako was speaking on the topic “Population and Housing Census and the Role of the Media” at the launch of 2010 World Population Day under the theme “Quality Data: A Tool for Effective Planning and Development”.
On July 11 every year the world commemorates World Population Day to focus on population and related issues that need attention, based on a chosen theme.
The global theme for this year is “Everyone Counts” and the launch in Ghana was postponed because of the 2010 World cup Tournament in South Africa.
She gave the assurance that the government had made commitment to conduct the census and urged the private sector to contribute their quota with logistic support and funds.
Dr Bediako called on all and sundry to support financially, emotionally and mentally to make it a exercise.
On the census night, she could not announce the specific period but said it would be a Sunday and proposals had been submitted to government for approval.
Dr Bediako said census was one of the main sources of data within the national statistical system, adding “every national statistical system must from time to time update its data base with a national census to ensure accuracy and relevance of the data systems”.
The Census would provide up-to-date socio economic data for planning at both the national and sub-national level, including data for the newly created districts and provide indicators to track the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Others are to provide basic indicators for tracking government developmental policies and goals on education, health, housing and other issues.
Dr Bediako said the media had an onerous responsibility to sensitise and educate to galvanise the needed Ghanaian support to reinforce the message on the importance of the census on what the data required would assist government to achieve.
She noted that most people had made enquiries on the basis and the essence of the census because enumerators asked the same questions in previous censuses but had not realised any impact on their living standards.
Dr Bediako said some people used their religious beliefs and superstition about being counted to refrain from participating in the exercise, adding “people should be found wanting and waiting to be interviewed, they should not move from their place of abode if they do not need to move, or should move to be identified with any particular location”.
She pointed out that not anyone in the household would be interviewed during the exercise but responsible adults while efforts would be made to count people in transit during the exercise.
On preparations towards the exercise, Dr Bediako said about 117,000 applications were received as enumerators out of which 60,000 would be employed.
She explained that 50,000 enumerators would be required while the remaining 10,000 would be on stand-by in case of emergencies.
Mr John Tia Akologu, Minister of Information appealed to the media to endeavour to put issues on national development especially such a national exercise at the fore and politicising every issue at the background.
He pointed out that the needed impact on previous censuses conducted in the country had not been achieved and called on all and sundry and stakeholders to ensure the 2010 PHC made the needed impact on the people.
Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana said data was crucial as people strive for universal access to education, HIV prevention, treatment, care, support and reproductive health and achievement of the MDGs.
She said censuses were central to UNFA’s mandate and mission to support countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that “every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV and AIDS and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect”.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon pointed out that UNFPA asserted the right of everyone to be counted, especially girls, women, the poor and marginalised.
She noted that censuses and population data played a critical role in development and humanitarian response and recovery, adding “with quality data we can better track and make greater progress to achieve MDGs, promote and protect the dignity and human rights of all people”.
Ms Marian Kpakpah, Acting Executive Director of National Population Council (NPC), said a critical component of the success of a census was the cooperation and understanding of the population to avail themselves in the conduct of such a massive national exercise and the media was best position top harness such support and cooperation among the public.