The Ghana Statistical Service, GSS, has rescheduled the 2020 Population and Housing Census due to the spread of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The nationwide enumeration exercise was originally scheduled for March 15, 2020, but had to be rescheduled to June 28.
But the GSS says it will announce a new date after consulting all stakeholders.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra, Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Annim, said over 51,000 enumerators are being trained through electronic means in preparation for the exercise when a new date is decided.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a blessing in the sense that the very mode by which you would want to minimize the spread of the infection is what we would be endangering the lives of the enumerators and even our respondents. So yes, it gives us an opportunity for people to be at home, thinking that we are going to reach them at home, but we would need to be sensitive about the processes of getting them at home.”
“We would have to train them, and put together about 75,000 enumerators and supervisors. We are also going to increase the contact, and this is exactly what we are trying to avoid. Indeed, people are at home, but the processes by which we are going to get them at home would make it riskier in terms of COVID-19. The June 2020 census night has been rescheduled depending on how COVID-19 evolves,” he said.
The Ghana Statistical Service is part of many institutions whose activities have been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, government has already released GH¢25 million towards the 2020 Population and Housing Census, an amount which is part of the GH¢45 million allocated in the 2019 budget.
This was revealed by Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim at the inauguration of the National Census Publicity, Education and Advocacy Committee for the 2020 Population and Housing Census.
Prof. Annim further stated that processes for the release of the remaining GH¢20 million had been initiated.