$6M World Bank Census Funding Questioned

By Ragan M. Conteh

The Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP), in Sierra Leone, has stated that, “We are making this statement, as political parties, bearing in mind that the World Bank, the UN Agencies, such as UNFPA and other Development Partners, have contributed immensely to Sierra Leone’s progress.”

The Consortium however said they, as political parties, have learnt, with keen interest from Statistics Sierra Leone, that the World Bank has approved funding of six million United States dollars (UD$6,000,000) for the proposed Mid-term Census.

“It will be a blunder, of epic proportions, if such a huge amount of money is used to prop up a process that is a rush and high risk-venture leading to inexorable and unreliable results. The probability of failure by far outweighs the justifications advanced for conducting a census midway instead of waiting for the ten-year cycle to end in 2025,” the Consortium lamented.

Many believed that stakeholders have misadvised the President on this Mid Term Census. They disclosed that, as opposition parties, they have said, times without number, that they were ready to support development, doing what is right, because they are partners in development.

The consortium said it is difficult and impossible to support this census exercise, because the procedures have not been followed.

“How can you do cartography in less than three weeks? The last cartography, in 2014-15, was done over a twelve months period. GPS are not accurate but they can provide a basic guide that will help you to estimate. I repeat, they are not accurate in any form,” the Consortium advised.

“This census is not necessary, and it adds little or no value to the economy of the country. Let us, as a nation, use the resources we are planning to use to cater for the bread and butter needs,” he said.

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