Former President Daniel Arap Moi is among Kenyans who were counted at his home in Kabarak, Nakuru County, as the 2019 census kicked off on Saturday.
Mzee Moi who was elated by his participation, was enumerated in an exercise led by Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui.
He called on Kenyans to participate in the exercise, which he said was crucial in aiding government to plan and make key policy decisions to spur growth.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who was also enumerated during the exercise, called on Kenyans to cooperate with census officials to make it a success.
Later, Mr Mbui officially launched the exercise at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital where he was accompanied by enumerators to the wards.
Mr Mbui told enumerators that the government was relying on them to give an accurate tally of Kenyans.
“Development of the country depends on you. We expect a thorough work from you,” he said as he assured the numerators of security.
No major incidents were reported in Nakuru as locals cooperated. In some estates like Flamingo though, residents expressed fears for their security.
The area has been grappling with a gang christened ‘Confirm’. Mr Moses Kuria, a resident from Flamingo estate, told Nation that it could be risky to open door past 8 pm since the area(Flamingo) is prone to attacks at night.
Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu, however, assured locals of tight security.
At the Nakuru Central Business District, most supermarkets were crowded with customers who seemed to be rushing to shop.
Law enforcement officers were all over in the town. Sex workers, who were on their usual business, told the Nation that they would take part in the census exercise later after ‘work’
The exercise was however delayed at Kipkonyo area in Moi Ndabi in Naivasha following network problem.
Naivasha Deputy Commissioner Mbogo Mathioya said the gadgets were promptly replaced.
He confirmed than more than 1,000 gadgets were distributed.
He said a roadblock had been mounted on the Maai Mahiu-Narok highway where those on transit would be counted.
Mr Mathioya said security had been enhanced across the sub county with Kenya Wildlife Service personnel deployed in areas frequented by wild animals.
Naivasha MP who was among the first people to be counted, encouraged residents to take part in the exercise.
In Nyandarua, a week of vibrant campaigns by local politicians, clergy and traders seemed to have yielded positive results, as many people travelled home to be counted.
Matatu operators recorded improved business from Friday afternoon with more arrivals witnessed on Saturday morning.
The churches cancelled all religious activities during the census night in a meeting chaired by the county Interfaith Association Chairman Bishop Josam Kariuki.
“Nyandarua has in the last two years led in many local and national events, we led in the Huduma Namba registration, our people have listened to us and agreed to be counted home,” said Governor Francis Kimemia.
Nominated Member of Parliament Maina Kamanda arrived home to be counted at his Kagaa village home, Ol Kalou constituency.
By Friday afternoon, the county census committee chaired by County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich had distributed census materials to all sub-counties.
Enumerators spent the better part of Friday and Saturday morning familiarising themselves with their areas of jurisdiction.
Narok Governor, Samuel ole Tunai's data was captured a few minutes after 7pm in an exercise that he described as professional and thorough.
Mr Tunai expressed his eagerness to receive the census results, noting that data on the population distribution and economic status across the county’s 30 wards will enable the county government to program development and allocate of resources based on facts rather than estimates.
Meanwhile, there was heavy presence of security personnel in urban centres and towns across Narok County.
In Transmara sub county, Deputy County Commissioner Manush Hassan forced several people out of bars and night clubs.
"We don't want people in towns they should go home. And all bars should be closed," he said.
Narok County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti said residents of the Maasai Mau earmarked for evictions would be counted.
The Population and Housing Census started on Saturday at 6 pm and will continue to August 31, 2019.
Reporting by John Njoroge, Geoffrey Ondieki, George Sayagie, Macharia Mwangi, Waikwa Maina and Stella Cherono