Erongo upmarket residents refuse enumerators

01 Oct 2015 17:20pm
WALVIS BAY, 01 OCT (NAMPA) - Some enumerators of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) conducting the national household income survey in the Erongo Region, were refused entry to some houses in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
As such, the NSA approached the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in Walvis Bay to assist the agency in getting information from homeowners.
The national Household Income and Expenditure Survey started on 27 April and ends 07 April 2016.
So far, five refusals have been recorded in Swakopmund’s upmarket residential area of Vineta, Langstrand, the Lagoon in Walvis Bay and some farms in the Omaruru area.
Speaking to reporters at the Walvis Bay Police Station on Thursday, NSA Communications Specialist, Nelson Ashipala said Erongo proved to be the most difficult region in the survey, as some house owners in upmarket suburbs refuse to cooperate and participate.
“Sometimes you come to a house and they tell you I cannot answer questions or please go do your survey elsewhere not here.
“This is not a racial issue but I think some people are just ignorant,” said Ashipala.
He added that when necessary, law-enforcement agencies will be called to assist enumerators in gaining entry to people’s private properties.
“We are supposed to work together to assist Government collect data for policy formulation, development planning and decision making. If some people think this is not important, then I don't know how we will do it,” said Ashipala.
On his part, NSA Regional Supervisor in Erongo, Eino Shaanika said the refusals affect statistics, as the outcome will not be objective.
He noted it is understandable that sometimes people fear for their lives and property but they should ask for identification or call the police instead of not opening their gates.
“Someone will shut the door in your face and use bad language when you are just doing your job. So we really request full cooperation,” Shaanika said.
He stressed there is confidentiality to the information collected, so people should not lie but give the right information.
“Maybe they think we are spying on them or we want them to be taxed. That is not what we are here for. We want data for decision-making purposes,” he said.
Though providing statistical data is voluntary, citizens may not refuse to provide information without valid reasons.
The Statistics Act No. 9, 201 (Section 43.1) states that the Statistician-General may impose an administrative penalty prescribed by the Prime Minister on any person who refuses or fails to complete any document or provide information or record required for the purposes of a statistical collection.
Shaanika and Ashipala indicated that enumerators will start recording the names of those who are not complying, so that they can be requested to provide valid reasons for such actions or face penalties.