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Technical Glitch Delays Census Counting in Lira City

The much-anticipated census 2024 has on Friday in Lira City faced an unexpected setback as the system-based application intended for counting failed to function. Enumerators, equipped with tablets, encountered a frustrating start to their fieldwork when the Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) system malfunctioned.

Enumerators found themselves stranded with non-functional tablets, unable to proceed with their assigned tasks.

Patrick Okwir Omara, an Enumerator in Lira City, expressed the widespread frustration, stating, “Other computers or other tablets actually lost the Cs entry where you need to begin from, so all this made the problem especially to everybody.”

Adding to the challenge, gadgets were distributed late, and essential data for internet connectivity was not provided, leaving enumerators without the necessary tools to commence their work. Omara said, “People will be given the transport allowance or the training allowance to help them facilitate their movement but up to this moment this single coin has never reached an enumerator or supervisor to even help them purchase the data that can be loaded into this.”

Nixon Opio, the Lira City Census Officer, acknowledged the major challenge of system configuration, attributing the delay to technical issues with the gadgets.

However, after intervention by a technical team, counting resumed in most areas of the city. The team, including our reporters, proceeded to Obutuwelo Parish in Lira City West Division. Despite the initial hiccup, households in Obutuwelo B Village warmly welcomed the enumerators, and counting commenced smoothly.

Each household faced a series of inquiries covering various aspects such as biodata, economic status, and social information. In one household of two members, the enumeration process took approximately 50 minutes.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has deployed 115,000 enumerators across the country for the census. The census figures hold significant importance in guiding planning, policy formulation, and program implementation, aligning with national goals and objectives. Uganda conducts a national census every ten years, with the previous one being in 2014.

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