Over 300 university graduates are involved in population mapping, using mobile phone data (tablets) that will take them to the nooks of the country.
Ground work for the upcoming fourth General Population and Housing Census is being laid, with the management of the Central Bureau of the Census and Population Studies as well as other committees charged with the organization and implementation of the presidential directives burning midnight candles for a hitch-free operation. The latest of activities is the launch of the mapping exercise. A recent communiqué of the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, announces the imminent start of the mapping of the population across the country. The trial exercise is already ongoing in Yaounde for the Centre Region and information from BUCREP says other regions will follow suit.
The operation seeks to identify where people are for accurate impact assessments and interventions during the Population and Housing Census operation. Some 300 agents, including 75 detachment heads and 225 surveyors, will be meeting administrative authorities, political entities, traditional chiefs and the public, for mapping interviews. The mapping exercise, Cameroon Tribune learnt from the General Manager of Bucrep, Bernadette Mbarga, locates all inhabited areas with focus on estimating the population on the site. It cuts the country into small working areas that are entrusted to census agents for counting. The mapping agents are also expected to gather information on services and basic socio-cultural and economic community infrastructure in neighbourhoods. Work areas are assigned to the mapping agents, with over 700 inhabitants for each agent in rural areas and 1,000 for those in urban settings.
Technologies such as remote sensing, Geographical Information Systems, and Global Positioning Systems have transformed the way the distribution of human population is studied and modeled in space and time. Bucrep top management says the fourth General Population and Housing Census will employ the use of such technology as recommended by the United Nations Population Fund. Mobile phone (tablets) now have extremely high penetration rate across the globe, and make analyzing the spatiotemporal distribution of the population easier. Reason why the technology has been chosen for the operation. Bernadette Mbarga said years often spent on anlysing data will be reduced to months given, the digitization of the process.