The Ministry of National Development Planning has informed members of the public and various stakeholders that the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) is in the final stage of concluding the mapping data collection.

In a press statement made available to the Lusaka Star, Minister of National Development Planning Hon. Alexander Chiteme, said the conclusion of the mapping data collection is in the remaining provinces, namely, Central, Muchinga, Northern and Southern as part of the activities preceding the main 2020 Census.

However, Hon Chiteme clarified that the gassing incidents and the COVID-19 outbreak caused the postponement of a number of planned activities and this has affected the start of the main 2020 census.

He added that his ministry is aware of the current environment being heavily impacted by COVID-19 which has raised a fundamental question on whether or not it would be safe to conduct the 2020 Census in such an atmosphere.

he further said the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the country has raised concerns with regard to the safety of the staff that will be involved in the 2020 Census including the enumerators.

It is important for the public and the various stakeholders to understand that the safety of the staff that will be involved in the 2020 census of population and housing is made paramount and above everything else.

Hon. Chiteme said.

And the Ministry of National Development Planning, as the parent ministry of the Zambia Statistics Agency, is enhancing its engagement with the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Health for guidance on how best to proceed with the 2020 Census.