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So the National Population and Housing census is well underway, started on Monday night and we even got a public holiday out of it. We, here refers to everyone else, I had an exam to do. But it got me thinking, what is the relevance of all this? There’s controversy over the tribe question being as we’re only just starting to recover from the trauma of post-election violence. We being the folks in Nairobi… There’s places outside the city where the violence is still all too real… Every 10 years, money goes into counting people. Money that could be used in other ways, like for example, to make the said people’s lives better… Like this guy, a pensioner and retired teacher that doesn’t see the value in him getting counted.
Ok, while I se the value, being as I have done a bit of population dynamics and planning for populations (both first-year environmental planning units), it could have been planned better, even with a diary.
For one, the exercise should have been put on a Friday, so that the weekend can eb used to ensure that people are at home, rather than putting it on Monday then forcing a public holiday… And it’s been done before, that’s how they did it in ’99…
There’s the contentious question of tribe. I for one, do not want to be identified by my tribe. As a result of circumstance, I have no father. I don’t speak my mother’s language. I was born in MP Shah Hospital and have lived in Nairobi all my life. As such, for me, the idea that my tribe defines who I am is a fallacy. I have been identified alternately as Generation X, the dot com generation, the 90’s generation, the future and many other random things… But ultimately I am part of an increasingly frustrated generation, with potential denied and such. I’m the one they’re planning for. The next census expects to find me settled, employed and with my own household to do a survey on. The future is no longer as safe a haven as it once was. The way markets are collapsing and such, investments lost, it will be increasingly liquid. And jobs will be hard to come by as well… Now I want the planning minister to tell me what he’s going to do with that info.
And I still haven’t been counted…
funny pictures