The unprecedented series of events that have unfolded as the result of the outbreak of COVID 19 has put a lot of projects on hold. With the announcement of an end to extreme social distancing on Wednesday signalling the end of Three Phases of lockdown by the Presidential COVID 19 Task force, a ray of hope appears on the horizon.
Mr. Royal Chalashika, Senior Geographic Information Systems/Mapping specialist announced that on 30th May,2020 the Cartographic Field work staff will report for duty and disperse to their various posts on 1st June 2020. The project was halted end of March following a country wide lock down exercise.
The 10 teams will be based on the following administrative districts of Kweneng District, South East, Serowe/Palapye, Francistown, Central Tutume, Ghanzi, Ngami land East, Gaborone and Ngwaketse West. Each team consist of four mappers a supervisor and two drivers.
Mr Chalashika reassuringly stated that the teams will receive counselling before leaving and will be equipped with the necessary preventative tools.
“We are determined to provide a conducive working environment to our staff, we are aware of the challenges ahead”, he said.
Mr. Chalashika emphasised the importance of accuracy in the project pointing out that the designed maps will inform the number of cars enumerators and tablets needed during the Population and Housing Census of 2021. “There is no room for error, we have a mammoth task ahead” he remarked. The use of Smart Census - a novel application that allows for real time monitoring of field work at the office will hopefully ease Mr. Chalashike’s nerves and deliver a more precise representation at a shorter period of time.
There have been five censuses after the independence of Botswana, each occurring every ten years starting in 1971.The 2021 Census will therefore be the sixth post-Independence census and the second conducted by Statistics Botswana. The buzzword making the rounds is Paperless Census, with technology that is steeped in tradition as unwanted as a burdensome heirloom.