The Upcoming Census: An Important Deciding Factor of The North’s Future
By Ali Edin,
The National Population and Housing Census is the official enumeration by the Government to establish the number of people and living quarters in a Country at a given time. In Kenya, the census is carried out every ten years to help the Government adequately plan for development. The United Nations defines population census as the total process of collecting, compiling, and publishing demographic, economic, and social data pertaining to a specific time to all persons in a country. As part of the census count, countries also include a compilation of information pertaining to living quarters and building-related facilities such as sewage systems, bathrooms, electricity et cetera. These data is crucial in determining the poverty index within the Country and gauges equal distribution of resources.
Census Data and Delimitation of Electoral Unit
Article 89 of the Constitution clearly stipulates the process used to determine the number of constituencies and much of that is dependent on accurate data from the National Population and Housing Census. Article 89 (1) states, “The IEBS shall review names and boundaries of constituencies at intervals of not less than eight years, and not more than twelve years, but a review shall be completed at least twelve months before a general election of members of parliament”. Sub-Section 5 of the same article outlines the procedure used to arrive at the number of constituencies; the inhabitants of a constituency should be as nearly as possible equal to the population quota. The number of inhabitants of a constituency may be greater or lesser than the population quota by considering; the geographical features and urban centers, community interest, historical, economic and cultural ties, as well as means of communication. The number of inhabitants of a constituency or ward may be greater or less than the population quota by a margin of not more than;
- 40% for cities and sparsely populated areas; and
- 30% for other areas.