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2020 population and housing census postponed - GSS preparing towards 1st digital census

By: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim
Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim

The much awaited national Population and Housing Census (PHC) earlier scheduled for June 28, 2020 has been postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the GSS has served notice that it is frantically preparing towards the first digital PHC to be conducted in the country this year.

“Key preparatory activities have been concluded in collaboration with various experts and partners, including delineating the country into 51,755 Enumeration Areas (EAs) to facilitate complete enumeration of all persons in Ghana; finalising data collection instruments and training materials; gathering of geometry, accessibility and building indices for each district and training of Master Trainers and Regional Data Quality Monitors,” the Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, who disclosed this in Accra, said.

Addressing the media in Accra on May13, he said, “the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), will however, continue to monitor the folding COVID-19 situation in the country in consultation with the relevant government institutions and other stakeholders and accordingly make adjustments to the 2020 census calendar,” Prof. Annim noted

However, he said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant government sanctioned social gathering and public health hygienic protocols have affected the preparatory engagements of the 2020 PHC.

"The GSS is taking all precautions to engender the occasioning of the 2020 PHC without endangering the safety of both the public and census personnel"

He said the GSS had developed and continues to implement a comprehensive Business Community Plan (BCP) in order to keep up with the decennial census calendar including conducting virtual meetings and training activities.

“The GSS is taking all precautions to engender the occasioning of the 2020 PHC without endangering the safety of both the public and census personnel,” he noted.

Fraud alert
In a related development, Prof. Animm said the GSS had served notice that it had not appointed any person or body to recruit or update the records of any applicant for the upcoming 2020 Population and Housing Census (PHC) project.

He said, “ the GSS has not authorised any person or entity to collect monies on its behalf or update any record of applicants.”

He added that the GSS does not charge or collect monies for recruitment or any job engagement or operate a mobile money account.

Subsequently, he said the service, therefore, urged the public to be cautious of such fraudsters soliciting monies from unsuspecting applicants with the promise of securing them a job and at a location of their preference in the 2020 PHC project.

“Applicants to beware of fraudsters who call or send text messages or email demanding money for recruitment, training or sale of equipment,” he noted.