Freetown, 23/07/21: Stats SL has mapped the State Lodge residence of His Excellency The President, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and First Lady Madam Fatima Bio at Hill Station in Freetown, whilst also updating the First Family on progress made so far in carrying out the preparatory work for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census.
In his opening remarks, the Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL, Prof Osman Sankoh (Mallam O), intimated The President that the cartographic exercise which lays the foundation for the actual census enumeration which is to come has been 99% completed and that the institution had therefore come to map the residence of His Excellency and the First Lady which will officially signal the end of the cartographic work.
He furthered that it is the first time that Sierra Leone is undertaking a full digital census, with both its cartographic mapping and enumeration being digital. Mallam O. emphasised the novelty of Sierra Leone’s Mid-term Census in the African region. Other countries to have done digital censuses combined both digital and paper-based means.
Mallam O. concluded that several international partners including the World Bank, UNFPA and UNECA have experts already assigned to Stats SL that are working closely with the institution to verify the census processes at every step of the way so that international benchmarks can be met.
Deputy Statistician General, Andrew Bob Johnny informed The President and the First Lady that under the old paper-based mapping, it used to take a year or over to do cartography but digitization has made it possible to have the entire country mapped in under 3 months.
Mr Johnny went further to state that all 20,000 electronic tablets provided by the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), have been shipped into the country and are now awaiting provisioning for the main census that will be conducted this year.
The cartographic team from Stats SL led by the international consultant Adebayo Olatubosun and some members of the Western Area Urban District Mapping Team including District Census Cordinator, Peter Lamin, Team Lead, Sahid Koroma and Quality Assurance Officer, Edison Gbappy, went round the Presidential lodge and identified and mapped all the structures within its premises. They also took GPS coordinates of the location. The data generated were then transferred to the GIS officer, Finda Sheriff, who then performed quality control checks on same. The mapper, Abie Dauda, asked the First Lady about the household information and number of persons that the lodge houses which were inputted by her into the Enumeration Pad software which is loaded on the electronic tablet.
In response to the entire process that had been demonstrated and explained to him, His Excellency The President, Rtd Julius Maada Bio thanked the team and said that he had no doubt that a credible census was certainly on the cards. He stressed the fact that even the team that will be working on the census will have lots of new things to learn especially regarding technology which he said would add to the human capital of Sierra Leone.
“Thank you very much for the great work. I am happy that your work will add value to the human capital development of the country which is the bedrock of the New Direction Government. It is an important experience. I look forward to seeing a successful and credible 2021 Mid-Term population and housing census. I therefore urge you to be professional in carrying out your work which I am sure will yield the required dividend for the entire country”, he concluded.
Also present at the exercise were the Secretary to the President, Dr Julius Sandy, The Director of Censuses and National Census Cordinator of Stats SL, Abdulai Salia Brima, the Director of Communication and Public Relations at Stats SL, Samuel Ansumana and the Census Program Manager,James Medo.
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