Statistics Sierra Leone launches living standard survey report for North and North-Western Regions
By Abdul Hassan Fackie
Statistics Sierra Leone has celebrated the African Statistics Day in the Northern Regional city of Makeni while at the same time disseminating the findings of the Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey to both North-East and North-Western Regional headquarter Districts of Makeni and Port Loko.
These twin events which took place at the Makeni and Port Loko District Council halls on the 18th and 19th November, 2019 respectively, attracted stakeholders from local and central government, development partners and the media.
In delivering his speech to mark the occasion of the African Statistics Day in Makeni, the Deputy Statistician General, Mr. Andrew Bob Johnny, said that the day is an annual event to raise awareness on the importance of statistics in all aspects of social and economic life.
He further stated that this year's theme is dubbed “ Everyone counts: quality statistics for better management of forced displacement in Africa" which he noted is in line with the theme of the African Union summit 2019, that is, " *The year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa."
He concluded that this theme was chosen to raise awareness on the critical importance of disaggregated statistics when responding to the core concept of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), "leaving no one behind," and specifically to the challenges of handling forced displacements in Africa.
The Chairman of the Makeni event, Mr. Camillo Kamara, who doubles as the Statistics Sierra Leone Council representative for the Northern Region emphasized the need for cooperation from inhabitants of Makeni to the work of Statistics Sierra Leone.
The Paramount Chief of Bombali Sheboro Chiefdom, PC Bai Sheborah Kashanga, expressed thanks and elation that Stats SL chose to celebrate such a momentous occasion in his region whilst urging his people to support credible data collection through Stats SL.
In his remarks, the Statistician General, Professor Osman Sankoh, popularly known as Mallam O, encouraged the people to give correct information whenever surveys are conducted because any wrong information given will negatively affect government and donor policies towards the entire region.
In her own statement, the Mayor of the Makeni City Council, Her Worship Mayor Sunkari Kabba Kamara commended Stats SL for the tremendous job it is doing especially in putting together the Sierra Leone Integrated Housing Survey Report.
She however raised concern about the estimated population size of her city as per the 2015 population and housing census which she said was not reflective of the true picture and is currently affecting Makeni as very little is given to them in terms of wealth allocation. Though she stopped short of questioning the credibility of the figures, she however pleaded with Stats SL to again look at the figures in the proposed 2020 mid term census so that her city will not miss out on the required wealth allocation it is due.
She concluded by asking her people to support the work of Stats SL and went on to subsequently launch the Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey Report.
In another development which saw the dissemination of survey report in the North- Western regional district of Port Loko, the chairman of the event who also happens to be the Stats SL Council representative in the North-Western region, Alhaji Yillah, said that he is happy to be in a district closer to Kambia especially because he grew up attending school in Kambia.
He maintained the people of Port Loko District are essential components of the Sierra Leone Integrated Housing Survey Report and therefore they should read and absorb its contents.
The Deputy Statistician-General, Mr. Andrew Bob Johnny, who made a statement on behalf of Stats SL after his boss, the Statistician-General, Professor Osman Sankoh stepped aside and delegated the function to him, thanked Professor Sankoh for the confidence reposed in him.
He emphasized that Stats SL can only succeed with the cooperation of the people of the communities as credible data can only be got when the people give correct responses to enumerators.
In his comments, the Chairman of Stats SL Council, Mr. Moses Williams, paid glowing tribute to the professional staff now available at the Stats SL due to the very rigorous recruitment process that was recently undertaken in order to get the highest quality staff. He stressed that Stats SL was devoid of regional sentiments, pointing out that the organisation is currently headed by a Northerner he is very proud of in Professor Osman Sankoh and that Port Loko should therefore consider the report as a product of their own.
The Mayor of Port Loko District, His Worship Abubarkarr Kamara expressed satisfaction that Port Loko was among the first districts to have the survey report. He thanked Stats SL for the good work in producing the report and urged his people to make conscious efforts in changing the narrative captured in the report.
The Resident Minister, North- Western Region, Hon. Haja Afsatu Abdulai Kamara, while officially launching the report thanked the Government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for supporting state institutions like Stats SL to be strong and credible.
She noted that Stats SL is very central to government's success as no government can succeed without credible statistics. She pleaded with government to render more support to Stats SL. to enable it to carry out its work more effectively and efficiently.