The 2010 Population and Housing Census is likely to be held in the month of March. Experts say historically, the Population and Housing Census is held in March after the declaration of the Census Night.

The Census night is usually declared on a Sunday, during which a snapshot of the population within the confines of Ghana is taken to determine where people spent their night on midnight. The following Monday is then declared a public holiday.

The Minister of Finance Dr. Kwabena Dufuor who chairs the Steering Committee of the 2010 Census, is mandated to announce which Sunday the Census Night must be observed in consultation with the Technical Committee of the 2010 Population and Housing Census, after which enumeration of the populace starts.

The Ghana Statistical Service says preparations for the 2010 PHC is 80% complete and hopes by December 2009, all will be set for the two week event. Government Statistician Dr. Grace Bediako told Asempa News in an interview that, a trial census will be conducted in five (5) District Assemblies across the country between October and November 2009.

The Assemblies include Saboba and Chereponi in the Northern Region, Bia in the Western Region, Sene in the Bono Ahafo Region, Ewutu Senya in the Central Region as well as parts of Legon and East Legon in the Greater Accra Region. These Assemblies according to Dr. Grace Badiako, have specific cases which will be used as a test case for the main census to be conducted next year.

Meanwhile, the Government Statistician has disclosed to Asempa News that, over 45,000 volunteers mostly students from tertiary institutions would be recruited by the Ghana Statistical Service for the exercise. The volunteers will be spread across 36,000 enumeration areas throughout the country to do the counting.

The exercise is estimated at about $50 million with 80% of the cost going into field work which includes transportation, training of personnel and payment of allowances to field officers. She says the GSS is determined to make to make the 2010 census a model for Africa and will therefore do everything possible to make it a success.

Meanwhile, officials of the GSS say results of the 2010 Population and Housing Census will be ready in three (3) months after the enumeration. Ghana’s population is currently estimated at 25 million. The 2010 Population and Housing Census will be the 5th in succession, after Ghana became a republic.

Story by Jerry Tsatro Mordy, Asempa FM