MBP gears up for national census

National, Normal

MORE than 100 men and women in Milne Bay will participate in a pre-national census exercise to identify inaccessible areas in the province.
They will then confirm the number of households, update area maps to facilitate the actual census in July.
They attended a three-day training on listing and mapping conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO) master trainers in Cameron Secondary School Hall outside Alotau town last week.
The training was for local level government (LLG) coordinators, supervisors and listers and interviewers representing each census unit (CU) of Milne Bay’s four districts.
The training covered areas on controls for the conduct of the census, listing of all CUs or villages in the province, maps of all CU locations in each LLG and field trips for practical experiences.
The training was supposed to be for the master trainers to train the LLG representatives as supervisors and coordinators who will then return to train the listers and mappers.
However, the initial arrangement was changed and the master trainers trained both representatives from the LLG areas and the CU areas due to time and cost constraints.
West Fergusson LLG manager Majella Lopi said he was happy the master trainers trained both groups at the same time.
“If the trainings were separated, a lot more time would have been wasted because the CUs in Milne Bay are scattered on islands across the ocean.
“It will cost more for the provincial census office to travel to the islands to gather participants for the training.
“Getting participants from various islands or trainers going to each island for the training would cost more, requires more time and it is also difficult and risky as most islands in the province a scattered, hundreds of miles apart,” she said.
Part of the training required all participants to go to villages on field trips to gain the practical experiences.
The trainees, who were trained to supervise and coordinate, did that while the  listers and mappers visited every household in more than 20 different villages listing houses, head of household names and updating maps.
The LLG representatives, who were mostly experienced after conducting the previous census, saw the training as a refresher course.