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Census 2024: UBOS to open statistics unit in Tooro kingdom

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) will establish a Statistics Unit in the Kingdom of Tooro, according to the Executive Director, Dr. Chris Mukiza.

Dr. Mukiza made the disclosure on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, after meeting with Tooro Kingdom officials at Mucwa, the Tooro Kingdom Parliament in Fort Portal town.

“The Prime Minister and his officials have agreed to create a Statistics Unit that will be responsible for the information we are going to collect during the census and the administrative data within the kingdom,” Dr Mukiza told reporters after the meeting.

Tooro embraces the census

During the meeting, Dr. Mukiza informed the officials led by the Prime Minister of Tooro Kingdom, Steven Kiyingi Frankstone, that his kingdom has a vast area and a large population with diverse cultures.

Dr Chris Mukiza addresses the press in front of the Tooro Kingdom Parliament

“So, you are the right people to help communicate to the public about the census. Census statistics are very important because they help the kingdom to plan very well for its people,” he noted.

He added: “And we only have one chance to have all the necessary information. We have come here to get your support.”

He commended Tooro Kingdom for using statistics produced by UBOS through household surveys to plan its activities and interventions.

“Our efforts are not in vain. We need to interpret the statistics so that the kingdom brings about social economic change,” he stated.

Parliament of the Kingdom of Tooro

He continued, “I now want to request that we partner with the kingdom to establish a statistics unit in this kingdom that will collect much of the administrative data. “We work a lot.”

He said that as long as the king intervenes, the statistics that are generated daily will be of great help.

He said that after establishing the Statistics Unit, they would try to modernize it and see how to equip it with manpower and one or two computers that can organize the unit.

“I believe that this will go a long way to increasing the use of the statistics that we are going to generate from the census and other consequent surveys and thus modernize administrative data. And if that request is accepted, after the census, we will send a team here that can work with your technical staff to establish it.”

Officials of the Tooro Kingdom

He added: “We did this with Buganda and we just finished off the kingdom of Bunyoro, so Tooro should not be left behind. Therefore, I need the kingdom closest to me to have a strong and robust Statistics Unit.”

Stunted growth

In his speech, Tooro Chief Minister Kiyingi assured Dr Mukiza that there has so far been no case of corruption during the pre-census exercise in Kabarole district, especially in the recruitment of census supervisors and enumerators .

“Be comfortable dealing with people who are very committed to the trajectory of our work in the kingdom,” he said.

He congratulated Dr Mukiza for modernizing the census exercise. “Thanks to tablets, people will be able to access census information much faster than before,” Kiyingi said.

Prime Minister of the Tooro Kingdom, Steven Kiyingi Frankstone

He said King Tooro, His Majesty Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, is very committed within his kingdom to the issues affecting his people and has been working tirelessly to achieve other activities that benefit his people. “It is for this reason that the UBOS is very important to achieve the country’s demographic dividend.”

However, he revealed that Tooro suffers from a stunted growth problem.

“I believe we can be the leading stunting district in the country even though Tooro has the most fertile soils in the country. “That is why we hope that the UBOS questionnaire includes the type of gardens that people have.”

Increased prevalence of HIV

According to Kiyingi, Fort Portal City is today famous for having the highest prevalence of HIV infections.

“At almost 18%, it has surpassed the Kalangala Islands as those that previously had the highest prevalence,” he revealed.

He attributed this to income from farms, nutrition and the boda boda craze, where people sell their land to buy motorcycles.

“They use the money they earn to lure girls into sexual activities, which becomes part of the reason why there is a high prevalence of HIV.”

According to him, His Majesty King Oyo is committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS by being the ambassador of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. “He has made it an integral part of the calendar of the kingdom.”

Kiyingi said Tooro also has a high number of high school dropout cases, especially among girls, which mainly started during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“By providing accurate statistics, UBOS will help provide solutions to these negative demographics.”

He said the Tooro Kingdom administration under his leadership is ready to address these issues at the grassroots level if government institutions join hands with them.

“These officials have contact with the population. We refer to Tooro Kingdom as the Pearl of Uganda. We have many wonders in this kingdom; “It is a land endowed with beauty and hospitable people.”