More census enumerators have been deployed to Lamu County to speed up the ongoing enumeration exercise as the August 31 deadline approaches.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirmed to the Nation on Friday that 15 more enumerators have already been deployed to ensure everyone is counted before the exercise ends on Saturday.
Initially, a total of 13 ICT supervisors, 113 content supervisors and 416 enumerators had been deployed across Lamu County to undertake the 2019 population and housing census.
The additional 15 clerks will raise the number of census enumerators working in various parts of Lamu from 416 to 431.
Mr Macharia assured Lamu residents that everyone would be reached for the headcount.
He acknowledged that the exercise was lagging behind in some parts of the county but was quick to say that enumerators who will be through in some parts will be deployed to those specific areas not yet covered.
“Everyone will be enumerated before the end of the exercise. We have increased the number of census clerks by fifteen. If need be all those who are through in other areas will be deployed to areas that are lagging behind,” said Mr Macharia.
Elsewhere, census enumerators have been deployed to the new Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) site in Kililana in Lamu West in a last minute rush that is aimed at registering the over 1,200 Lapsset casual labourers working at the site.
The enumerators were deployed shortly after Principal Secretary for Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Safina Kwekwe, accompanied by Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia, Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama and other officials visited the site on Thursday with an aim of monitoring the progress of the ongoing census exercise.
There had been concerns that there was a challenge in the registration of the Lapsset workers stationed at the Lamu Port site, most of whom are youths from Lamu and neighbouring counties of Tana River, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale.
“Following today’s visit with the intervention of the leaders present, we have managed to deploy enough clerks who will register the port workers who had not been captured,” said Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama in a statement.
This week, Lamu leaders and locals pleaded with the national government to consider extending the census period, particularly in terror prone areas and areas that have infrastructural challenges.
Lamu Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Aboud and Lamu East MP Athman Sharif said census period needs to be extended in areas like Basuba, Mililani, Mangai, Mararani, Kiangwe, Pandanguo, all in Boni forest as well as in Kiunga and Ishakani villages on the border of Lamu and Somalia.
The areas are considered terror prone since in previous years, they have witnessed frequent Al-Shabaab attacks and subsequent killings to security agencies and civilians, a move that prompted the government to launch the ongoing multi-agency security operation Linda Boni since September 2015.
Locals interviewed by the Nation this week in some of the villages have reported the extreme slow pace with which the census is being conducted in their areas, compounding their fears that the entire region might not be covered.
The leaders believe the extension of the census period will enable residents in those villages to be sufficiently enumerated.
“We want all our people to be counted in this year’s population and housing census. Let there be special consideration for areas which are terror prone and those faced by infrastructural challenges including majority of far flung islands in Lamu East Sub-County. Extension is necessary in those particular areas so as to ensure all our people are sufficiently covered,” said Mr Aboud.