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By Godfrey Olukya   7-3-2013

Authorities in South Sudan have said that all is being done to ensure that the national census takes place as planned early next year.

According to the country’s Vice President, Riek Machar the government is working towards ensuring that the population count takes place next year as planned but it is short of funds.

The Council of Ministers in February this year passed a budget of 92 million US dollars for the 2014 population and housing census.  A total of 37 million US dollars is needed this year to conduct activities and preparations for the exercise.

Machar has however appealed for funds to carry out the exercise from donors.During a donors  meeting in Juba, Machar said that there is need for the donors to support the exercise, saying the population figures are vital for guiding policy makers and the planning of the next elections set for 2015.

Macher said, ‘Carrying out the census for this country is very crucial.We need the census data to carry out efficient and equitable demarcation of electoral constituencies and adjustment of administrative borders.’

He said that getting reliable  census data can assist in regional allocation of revenues amongst the country’s administrative units. He added on that  the census will provide a solid foundation, and the means for good governance and the consolidation of the country’s  democracy.

Currently, the population growth rate of South Sudan according to UN is at 2.5% per year. It is not easy to determine the current population of South Sudan because most of the citizens have just  returned from exile where they lived for over a decade due to fighting between Sudan troops and SPLA.

South Sudan attained her independence in 2011. Before then most South Sudanese lived in exile mostly in neighboring countries including Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Democratic republic of Congo and Tanzania.

 

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