What to look out for when census staff knock on your door

Wednesday August 21 2019

Census enumerators check their material in Ruring'u, Nyeri on August 24, 2009 moments before the national exercise kicked off. In the 2019 census enumerators will have reflector jackets. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Kenya will conduct its sixth national census since Independence on the night August 24 that will extend up to August 31, 2019.

The purpose of the exercise is to get reliable and detailed data on the size and distribution of the population in the country, as well as the living conditions and access to basic services at a specified time.

This information helps in the process of planning, resource allocation and policy formulation for development.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has 138,572 enumerators, 22,268 content supervisors and 2,467 ICT supervisors for the survey.

The exercise will require people to open their doors for the KNBS enumerators.

But how safe will this be, especially for people living in cities and towns, given that criminals may seize that opportunity to stage attacks?


How can you distinguish between KNBS staff and criminals?


According to KNBS Director in charge of Population and Social Statistics MacDonald Obudho, the following are key identifiers of the permitted officials conducting the census:


The census enumerators and supervisors will be issued with an official badge stating their names and ID number. The badges will have the government, KNBS and census logo.


The census staff will wear orange and maroon reflector jackets. The jackets will have a government logo on the right and a census one on the left. The jackets will also have the census motto ‘Jitokeze Uhesabike’ printed on the back.


They will also have a black CAPI tablet with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics logo at the back since all information will be captured electronically.


The enumerators will be accompanied by residents’ association leaders or welfare security group leaders who are well known to the household members for purposes of comfort setting.


Enumerators are not allowed to ask for money from citizens and therefore no one should give out money to any enumerator for the process to be conducted. The process is free to all households.

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An enumerator will spend about 30 minutes in each house. This may be shorter or longer depending on the number of members in the household.


Once the enumerator has collected data from your household, he/she will write a number on the door or at any visible place on the structure or issue a structure numbering card to indicate that counting has been conducted.


Prior to the material day, there will be a census ‘rehearsals’ day during which residents and enumerators will have an opportunity to familiarise with the exercise.


County census committees were responsible for recruiting the enumerators and supervisors, who are expected to work in their respective areas. They recruitment was to ensure that they live within the areas where they will conduct the exercise and are therefore known to the residents.


The enumerators will ask questions on personal and household information. This includes:

  • Personal information regarding age, gender, date of birth, nationality/ethnicity, religion, mental status, place of birth, marital status and migration status, persons with disability, education, and occupation.

  • Females will also be asked about the number of living children they have given birth to.

  • Information regarding access and ownership of ICT equipment and services, crop farming, livestock and aquaculture, housing characteristics and ownership of assets.

In case your household will not have been enumerated by August 31, a toll-free number will be provided for you to contact KNBS to send an enumerator, alternatively you can report to the local administrative office.