Sierra Leone’s mid-term population census hampered by non-payment of staff salary    

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 December 2021:

Statistics Sierra Leone yesterday Sunday, said it has taken steps to ensure that census enumerators across many districts in the country, particularly the Western Area are paid their outstanding salaries.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai is said to have spent the entire weekend supervising the payment process of field staff in the Western Area Rural, where over 1,500 enumerators and supervisors have not received their salaries..

Minister Kai-Kai thanked the field staff for their patriotism and determination to contribute to nation building and for their patience and decorum, as he explained the reasons for the delay in paying their salaries.

He assured them of Stat-SL’s continued commitment to complete the payment process by the end of yesterday, Sunday 12th December 2021.

He also called on the enumerators to quickly join the others who are already collecting credible information in the field. Data collected are already being entered digitally on the Stat-SL servers at their headquarters in Freetown.

The Deputy Statistician-General, Mr. Andrew Johnny also thanked the enumerators and supervisors for the good work they have started, identifying their respective enumeration areas and beginning to count all persons who slept in their households on the 9th December, 2021, which was dubbed as “Census Night”.

He said the official counting would go on until 23rd December 2021 and that there would be time for mopping up until all households in the country have been counted.

In a press statement issued by Statistics Sierra Leone yesterday, the public was informed that Stats SL has deployed district census coordinators, data quality monitors and district statisticians in each district.

This is what the statement said: “Stats SL acknowledges the initial challenges across the districts which unfortunately resulted from an overwhelming desire by trained Sierra Leoneans to go to the field. Training for all censuses is usually done for more than the required number of field staff to have a buffer of those who could be asked to replace enumerators should there be any need.

“Irrespective of the above challenges, Stats SL is delighted to report that payment to enumerators progressed very well in many districts and will complete today in the few outstanding districts. Stats SL also wishes to inform that counting commenced across the districts and field data are being successfully synced on our servers at HQ.

“There is no need to educate the Sierra Leonean public which has participated in several censuses, that since it is the enumerators who will visit peoples’ homes unlike election and registration events, there will be no visible queues in the streets for the census. The official counting will go on until 23rd December 2021.

“There will be time for mopping up until all households in the country have been counted. Hence enumerators will eventually come to your household. Households are reminded of the census night, the night of 9th December 2021. Enumerators will count all persons who slept in your households on that night.

“It is hoped that details of all such persons have been prepared in readiness. Stats SL has deployed district census coordinators, data quality monitors and district statisticians in each district. We invite members from the Census Publicity, Technical and Advisory Committees, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners, Parliament, the Media and others to monitor the process. Stats SL is open to feedback.”

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