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The 2016 Population and Housing Census Report which was officially released on Monday has revealed that the country's population has increased from 1.8 million in 2006 to 2.8 million in 2016 which constitutes to 0.68 percent growth rate.

The report further reveals that there is population density in Leribe, Maseru and Berea whereas Mafeteng, Mohale's Hoek and Quthing have reportedly not been favoured by the increase.

Speaking during the dissemination of the report at Lehakoe Recreational Club in Maseru, the Minister of Development Planning, Mr. Tlohelang Aumane expressed hope that the indicators generated will show the extent to which the gap exists for Basotho to access basis needs such as clean water, sanitation and electricity to mention a few. 

He said the results will provide benchmarks against which performance of the government and the nation should be measured by, especially in tracking the country's performance in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2063, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and other developmental initiatives.

“May the publication of these results display a representation of our nation's socio-economic and demographic characteristics, strengthen our commitment to building a democracy that is worthy of the name: a society in which the needs of all Basotho and especially the poor, are at the centre of the government's efforts,” he said.

He stated that well informed plans, programmes and policies contribute towards the improvement of quality lives for the entire nation, noting the readily accessible and reliable data generated from the Population and Housing Census consists of demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population as well as housing characteristics hence why Lesotho has conducted the Survey in April 2016.

Mr. Aumane pointed out that the main purpose of the exercise was to generate statistical information that can be used primarily for development planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of national programmes such as the National Strategic Development Planning (NSDP) as well as international development frameworks.

He acknowledged Basotho for taking part in the exercise and supporting the census personnel, further acknowledged the donor communities for their continued support in making the exercise a success.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Lesotho Ms. Nuzhat Ehsan said the census results should be available throughout the country and on the Internet. She emphasised that census results should be used effectively and for coming up with programmes and policies for the country.

She said dissemination of census results is a critical stage and raised concern that census results are often not used properly but said Lesotho will change that practice.

Preliminary census results were released in August 2016.

Population census is a process intended to generate statistical information that can be used primarily for development planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of national programmes together with international frameworks.

Lesotho has been conducting censuses from 1845 whereby body count was used. The decennial and scientific census commenced in 1966. The last population census was conducted in 2006.

The 2016 Population Census was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations 2020 Round of Population and Housing Census and it took place from April 10 to 24 2016 countrywide.


Source: LENA 11/09/2017

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