Cultural leaders from Tooro and Rwenzururu promise to support national census

The Executive Director of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Dr. Chris Mukiza, embarked on a major engagement with cultural leaders from the Toro and Rwenzururu regions on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in preparation for the National Census of Population and Housing. (NPHC) 2024. The purpose of this visit was to seek the support of these influential figures as the country prepares for its crucial demographic survey.

During a courtesy visit to King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, the Prime Minister of Toro Kingdom, Frankstone Kiyinji, highlighted several pressing issues affecting the region, including child stunting, high rates of HIV infection and school dropouts, particularly among girls.

“Tooro suffers from a crippling case of childhood stunting. I think we could be the largest district, the most stunted district in the country,” he said.

“We have cases of high school dropouts, especially among girls. Mainly having started during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now these things have a domino effect. Household income and nutrition will eventually lead us to realize that the level of nutrition in the household is directly responsible for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.”

He further stated: “The Uganda Bureau of Statistics can, and indeed is, a partner to the Kingdom of Toro in the fight against these social ills by providing accurate statistics that can bring about proportionate interventions at all levels of governance.”

“It is up to the State and the country to see the kingdoms and their people as an integral part of the transformation of this country.” Kiyinji emphasized the importance of UBOS partnering with the Kingdom of Toro to leverage its reach and mobilize the population for the census.

Dr Mukiza met with King Charles Wesley Mumbere of the Rwenzururu Kingdom to discuss the census and establish cooperation. King Mumbere expressed his support for the initiative and stated: “We are going to talk to our communities and encourage them to be counted because it is very important for the government to know how many there are in our communities.”

“Each country should know the number of people there are in that country and be able to plan better for them. I assure you that the cultural institution is brilliant and cooperates very well with the government,” said King Mumbere.

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King Mumbere was appointed Census Commissioner for his kingdom, reflecting UBOS’s efforts to integrate cultural leaders into the process.
He assured that “the royal family is ready to be counted that morning. It is true that when a program of this type is carried out, key figures of the population and key personalities participate to motivate the rest to follow it.”

King Mumbere commended the UBOS for including a request from clan leaders to capture clan data in the census.
“Your Majesty, I am very happy that you have allowed us to count it on the first day of the census,” Dr Mukiza said, adding that this will end the myth that when people, especially children, are counted, they die.

“The census data will help the King know the people he has in his kingdom and how to plan for them,” he further stated.

“Your Majesty, this information will help you know the people you have in your kingdom, where they live, how they live, what they own and how you can distribute resources to them,” Dr. Mukiza said.

Dr Mukiza also provided assurances regarding data privacy, stating that census information would not be accessible to anyone, including the President.