by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Officials from the St. Kitts-Nevis Statistics Department were visitors to the Wednesday, September 14 edition of Island Tea, where they sensitized the public on the importance of the Population and Housing Census in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Host, Azem Bailey raised a concern that the Population and Housing Census is not widely accepted by the people, suggesting that some people are not being open to the process or rather, uncooperative because they probably do not understand the logistics of the Census.
Mr Carlton Phipps- Director of the Department of Statistics, said it is important that individuals cooperate with the enumerators because the information being solicited is essential for the drafting of policies.
“This information is being used for planning and policy-making, going forward. In terms of education policy, in terms of housing policy, in terms of infrastructural development. So we need the information from every single person, and that would feed into these plans and policies going forward.”
Expounding on the importance of a Population Census, Host Azem Bailey said people often talk about what should or needs to happen and what the Government should do based on their personal feelings, but having factual information or data is most important for lawmakers to make the best decisions possible. Bailey also urged the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to cooperate with the enumerators because the information is for a worthy cause.
Meanwhile, Mr Corniel Williams, Deputy Census Officer, explained a few categories under which the Census is being conducted.
“First off, we want to know the conditions that you live in. so we want to know the characteristics of the building. We want to know exactly what is there in the dwelling that you have and [if] you have the basic commodities and the basic amenities, running water, electricity, sanitation etc., if [the household] uses a flush toilet as opposed to a pit latrine. That’s just the start of it. We want to know the general characteristics; the demographics, age, sex, the ethnicity of people, then we want to know how many persons are actually working versus unemployed. We want to know how many people are in school or not in school and we can go deeper; but generally not every, but a lot of the major sectors of life, we want to have some kind of analysis that we can put forward to the public about it,” Williams said.
Williams mentioned that the enumerators have been in the fields since the month of May conducting surveys and will hopefully conclude by the end of September or soon thereafter. The Deputy Census Officer also pleaded with the public to exercise some patience and respond to enumerators for the benefit of all living in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Just about a month more to go, and we’re asking everyone to be responsive, provide the data. “We promise you, we’ll treasure it, and we’re going to use it, and at the end of the day, we are actually going to publicize the results.”
Individuals or households that have not been surveyed are asked to contact the Statistics Department to make arrangements.
The Population and Housing Census is the largest, most important data gathering exercise in St. Kitts and Nevis, directed by the Department of Statistics. It is held approximately every ten years. The previous Population and Housing Census in St. Kitts and Nevis was conducted in 2011. The first was conducted in the year 1871.
The Statistics Department comes under the Ministry of Sustainable Development and is responsible for producing statistical information for planning and decision-making that Government, Private Sector businesses and the general public can access.