Explainer: Why housing is included in the census

Summary

  • Goal number 11 targets to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It specifically targets to ensure that by 2030, all people should have access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services among others.

Dar es Salaam. With only about one month before Tanzanians get counted in the 2022 Population and Housing Census, experts say the inclusion of the housing element is a deliberate move to ensure that the country has concrete strategies on development of decent accommodation facilities.

“The requirement seeks to facilitate the provision of information on the implementation of goal number 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), says a senior information officer from the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr Munir Shemweta.

Goal number 11 targets to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It specifically targets to ensure that by 2030, all people should have access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services among others.

According to Mr Shemweta, all the types of buildings will be counted in the census.

“That way, we will be able to obtain reliable data on buildings. We will thus be able to come up with a national database of information on buildings which will help the government design policies, laws, regulations and programmes for the improvement of the housing sector in the country,” he said. It will also enable the government to obtain information on the use of buildings such as for rental, commercial and community services.

“Thus in short, including the housing aspect in the census, helps the government to know its [the government’s] contribution to the availability of housing in the country as directed under Section 4.2.2 of the National Housing Development Policy,” he said.

The government will also conduct an assessment of the level of houses built in planned and unplanned areas and the state of access to community services in various locations.

One is required to have documents to substantiate his/her ownership of the land upon which the building has been put up and when it [the building] was built. The documents include title deeds, residence licence, an issue letter /and acknowledgement of plot payment, but has not received the document and a customary land ownership document.

A census involves an expensive statistical operation, consisting of a complex series of interrelated steps, which a country undertakes in an ultimate goal of providing the government and other stakeholders with essential statistics on the socio-economic conditions of a population.

It is an important tool for national development planning which also needs frequent updates because the population in developing economies like Tanzania is always on the rise. For many countries, the census is done every ten years.

The 2012 census results indicated that Tanzania Mainland had a population of 43.62 million while Zanzibar had a population of 1.304 million.

The data, and projections, thereafter are vital in helping the nation execute its national plans in diverse sectors like health and education.

The history of census in Tanzania dates back to 1910 though the first scientific one was conducted in 1958. Since then, five such exercises have been held in 1961, 1978, 1988, 2002 and 2012.