Thousands of census-takers have begun knocking on doors across Ghana for a once-a-decade headcount of one of the world’s largest producer of cocoa.
The exercise for the first time will use mobile apps to help crunch the massive numbers.
Community workers and volunteers will carry out the two-week data-collection effort, visiting homes ranging from residential skyscrapers in the capital Accra to farthest Cape-Three-Points in the West.
The Ghana Statistical Service on Sunday held a colourful census night to mark the official start of the 2021 Population and Housing Census.
For instance, in the Korle Klottey Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, there was a float through the major streets to create awareness about the exercise.
Similar events are expected to take place in various parts of the country.
But there is disquiet among some enumerators with less than 24 hours to the start the exercise.
The National Coalition of Field Officers is demanding Health and Risk allowances and an increase in their remuneration from the Ghana Statistical Service(GSS).
The coalition, which includes enumerators and supervisors, wants their remuneration increased from an expected GHC2,520, and GHC2,950 to GHC3,500 and GHC4,000 respectively.
According to the group, their safety and health have been put at risk in their line of duty.
Some have had to trek through very harsh conditions, with others getting attacked by predators in remote areas.
A leader of the National Coalition of Field Officers, Abdul Rahman Mustapha, told Accra-based Citi FM that the group has given the GSS by close of today [Sunday], to act upon their concerns.
He insisted that the officers are faced with all manner of dangers in the course of the exercise and, for that matter, these allowances are necessary to cushion them.
“We want the GSS to make provisions for allowances like the risk allowance and the health allowance because the work we are into now is very tedious. Officers go to the field to collect data in harsh weather conditions. When the sun shines, we are under the sunshine collecting data; and the rain falls, we are inside it collecting data. There are also some of the enumerators that when we go on the field, we run into wild animals like the snake and others.”
“There is also a district in the Oti Region where we had information that some field officers were going there, they met a bush pig that chased them, and had it not being that there were some locals there, imagine what would happen to these enumerators? These are dangers that the field officers are putting up with.”
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH