National Development and Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme says his ministry, through the Central Statistical Office (CSO), has commenced a pilot mapping exercise throughout Lusaka and Chongwe districts in readiness for next year’s national census.

In a statement, Chiteme said this was in preparation for the 2020 population and Housing census with a view to provide a full and reliable picture of Zambia’s population.

He stated that the Central Statistical Office is currently preparing to conduct the next round of the Census of Population and Housing which is expected to commence in August 2020.

“The purpose of the Census is to provide a full, reliable picture of Zambia’s population and housing which includes various characteristics, i.e. demographic, social and economic data about each locality in the country. The Census of Population and housing is unique in that, it can be used to investigate small and special population groups, and provide information about small geographic units. In preparation of the next Census, advance activities are underway. To this effect, The Ministry of National Development Planning, through the Central Statistical Office (CSO), has commenced a pilot mapping exercise throughout Lusaka and Chongwe districts, for a month,” Chiteme stated.

He stated that the pilot mapping exercise is only a rehearsal to confirm the suitability of the new methodology.

“A pilot mapping exercise is a ‘dress rehearsal’ which serves to confirm the suitability of a new methodology, the introduction of innovative procedures such as Tablet-Aided geo-tagging of buildings and national infrastructure, and office delineation of Enumeration Area boundaries using satellite imagery. After the pilot mapping, a thorough review of the entire mapping process will be conducted, and a full scale national mapping exercise will be rolled out to cover each and every corner of Zambia,” Chiteme stated.

“The mapping exercise seeks to update the 2010 Census enumeration areas. This exercise is basically a geographic listing process where a frame of all housing units including vacant ones, all non-residential buildings, buildings under construction, schools, health facilities, municipal water systems, wastewater treatment facilities public transit stations, warehouses and boreholes, other structures and prominent features in an area will be compiled.”

And Chiteme disclosed that the census exercise sought to compile a list of all Housing units and other structures within enumeration areas and to determine the number of households and persons among other reasons.

“The objectives of the Census Mapping are; To compile a frame or list of all Housing Units and other structures within an enumeration area; To determine the size of the enumeration area (number of, households and persons); To enable enumerators during census to find their way within the enumeration area more easily, so that they can actually visit all Housing Units in their enumeration area; To identify all residential and non-residential structures including unoccupied, vacant and new housing units under construction; To use the gathered information to update the base maps and the geo-spatial database; To ensure that enumerators have a uniform work load in terms of households to cover during enumeration. Urban enumeration areas will range from 150-200 while rural areas will have 80-120 households; and To provide the basis to estimate resources required at each administrative level e.g. personnel, materials and transport,” stated Chiteme.

“During Census Mapping exercise, the Map Data Collector (MDC) will have a tablet loaded with an enumeration area map and application for capturing location and attributes data for housing units, other structures and prominent features of national interest within the enumeration area. All Map Data Collectors will wear a T-Shirt branded with a 2020 Census Logo and carry an ID card and a letter of introduction. We appeal to the general public to co-operate with the map data collectors and provide them the required information when you are visited and accord them all the necessary support.”