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Population census at 92% completion rate

Statistics Botswana says that the nationwide enumeration phase of the 2022 Population and Housing Census ended on 4th April 2022. The institution says that it was after the initial enumeration period of 18th-31st was extended by four days to allow for its completion.

This year’s census was the first census that Statistics Botswana undertook as a body corporate and the first ever to utilize digital technological application. The Statistician General, Dr. Burton Mguni revealed to this publication that at the end of the nationwide enumeration phase, enumeration at the national level stood at a completion rate of 92%.

He said that the organization has since embarked on a Census Mop-Up Exercise from the 6th – 13th April 2022 as it had noted that there are some census districts where enumeration has not yet been completed. Mguni stated that the Mop-Up exercise is largely focused in the Kweneng East and Gaborone Districts which had a slower start due to enumerator and transport shortages as well as technological glitches when the census began.

“These challenges have been resolved. Other districts for example Serowe/Palapye and Ngamiland East will also be covered in the Mop-Up exercise, albeit over fewer days,” He said.
He indicated that all concerns that were tabled by the trainees before the census started were resolved. He said that the trainees were not recruited by Statistics Botswana, but rather by the offices of the District Commissioners.

“Statistics Botswana however intervened and proactively worked with the Districts to resolve the issues, Trainees who were not satisfied voluntarily exited before completing the training or in the early stages of enumeration,” Mguni stated.

He said that the enumerators who during the nationwide enumeration period were redeployed from their Census District to assist in other Census Districts were paid the normal daily census allowance plus an additional daily census allowance for each day worked in the census District of redeployment.

“The redeployed enumerators were those who had completed their assigned enumeration areas before the end of the enumeration period thus making them available to assist elsewhere and earn additional daily census allowance” he said

It was stated that 2022 census are similar to the questions asked in the 2011 census, although some of the questions have been adjusted as to give data that has become relevant prost 2011 and such includes various categories including, Place of usual residence, Relationship, Citizenship, Educational attainment, Economic Activity, ICT, Land ownership, Fertility and Child survival, Disability, Deaths and Housing Unit Characteristics (e.g. water supply, and toilet type) amongst others.

Mguni said that there was a need for the enumerators to ask such questions as The objective of the Population and Housing Census not only to count the total population of a country, but also to provide other information on the population such as , their spatial distribution, sex and age structure, living conditions and key socio-economic characteristics.

“Consensus on census questions was reached through a rigorous multi-sectorial consultative process over three years. These questions were published in the Government Gazette ahead of the census and as such can be accessed by everyone, the census questionnaire is available on the Statistics Botswana Website” he said.

Mguni plead with the public to cooperate with the enumerators as providing the required census information is not only good for the individual; his or her community and the country but is also required by law. He applaud census enumerators and supervisors for all the work they have done thus far, and encouraged them to maximize their efforts during the Mop-Up period.

“Let me also thank the general public for their cooperation during this exercise. We would not have achieved this much coverage thus far without this much appreciated cooperation” He concluded.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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