#Article (Archive)

Census findings release long overdue

Feb 26, 2014, 9:43 AM

The website of the Gambia Bureau of Statistics, GBoS, has the slogan: “Disseminating impartial, timely and accurate quality statistics”.

Yet, as regards the time it has taken to release the crucial data, it is the feeling in some quarters that the findings of the 2013 population and housing census should have been released much earlier.

The very report released by GBoS on Monday stated that: “Because the analysis and report compilation will take some time, it is necessary to release preliminary figures to assist planning and decision making processes.”

Thus, no effort should have been spared in getting the information out to facilitate “planning and decision making” in government and the NGO community, among others.

However, as is usually said about such delays - it is better late than never.

It is obvious that the purpose of the whole exercise, which cost the government and its partners millions of dalasis to organize, was to get data on humans and housing in The Gambia to guide, among others, national development endeavours.

However, the GBoS release further stated that “figures in this preliminary report should be seen as provisional until the publication of the final figures, which may be slightly different after the completion of the census data processing and analysis”.

This means we are not yet there!

While we appreciate the fact that there have been and continue to be challenges that are hindering the quick availability of the data, it is our view that the release of the census findings is overdue.

In any case, we hope that the data will be available soon to inform, among others, the preparation of the government’s national budget for 2015, and for planning for the post-MDGs period.

Another matter is the fact that, on Tuesday, “Come back later” was the message we got, when we clicked to access information on the “Censuses” icon at the GBoS website.

Yet we were told in the news release, issued by the national census bureau, that the report on the preliminary census findings “can be accessible on the GBoS website, www.gbos.gov.gm”.

Interest in the national census data is very high, and people cannot wait to access the vital information. So we hope that GBoS looks into this problem immediately.

“For The Gambia our homeland, we strive and work and pray that all may live in unity freedom and peace each day”

Gambia National Anthem