The Enumerator at Kubake and Ha Ramabanta in rural Maseru district started enumerating as expected when the paperless 2016 Population and Housing Census kicked off on the 10th April, 2016. She however had not anticipated to find a household with only one family member, who has a hearing impairment. This rendered communication impossible.
“I tried to get information from neighbours but none of them had any information about the family, except that the siblings had left a long time ago for work in Maseru city,” explains the Enumerator of the area Kefuoe Maloi. She however was eventually able to get information about the family from the Chief of the area.
The other challenge that the enumerator encountered was that most of the people in the area were expecting to be given donations before and after enumeration.
This can be attributed to the El-nino induced drought which has hit Lesotho, exacerbating the level of poverty in the country. As two grandmothers in the area Mrs ‘Mampuoane Mosi (82) and Mrs ‘Matokelo Mosi (68) explained, they had planted their fields as normal in September 2015, but since there were no rains, none of their plants survived and they are therefore not expecting to be able to harvest anything.
“Under normal circumstances I make seven (7) bags of maize from my one field but this year I am expecting nothing,” explains Matokelo Mosi. Mrs Mampuoane Nosi on the other hand, clarified that she made a bale of maize from her two fields when there are enough rains.
Meanwhile, the enumerator had covered 24 households by mid-day on the second day of enumeration and she anticipated she would have covered a total of 25 households by the end of the second day.
In the meantime, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund has been applauded for its support to the census by Ministry of Development Planning, Bureau of Statistics and High Authorities of the country, which this census represents the first digital census in the sub –region within the United Nations 2020 round of population censuses. During this census, enumeration is undertaken through the use of Personal Data Assistants, which have been hailed for speeding up the enumeration process.
The census is expected to take two weeks, however a week has been set aside for call backs. Results are anticipated to be published by July, 2016.