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Burma’s first census in 30 years begins

Preparing census questionnaires in Rangoon's Dala Township, early on Sunday morning. (PHOTO: DVB)

Burma’s first census in more than 30 years began on Sunday morning. DVB captured some scenes of enumerators preparing the census questionnaires, leaving their stations, and interviewing the residents of Dala and Bahan townships in Rangoon.

The census will take place from 30 March to 10 April. More than 120,000 schoolteachers have been trained to work as enumerators to conduct the population survey across the country. The UN’s Population fund (UNFPA) says the results will help donor countries evaluate needs and demographics for future development projects.

“In terms of involvement, every person in Myanmar [Burma] will be involved in the census. This is a chance for each household to speak of their living conditions and their needs,” said Janet Jackson, Myanmar Representative of the UNFPA.

In response to calls for a boycott of the census from some sections of Burmese society, Jackson said, “Myanmar’s first census in 30 years will provide population data that is needed to promote inclusive development that can benefit people from all groups. Postponing it now would lead to a delay of several years in making this data available to planners, undermining development efforts and the reform process. Large-scale non-participation would be detrimental to efforts for social and economic development of all areas of Myanmar.”

Full interview: https://www.dvb.no/interview/building-consensus-on-the-census-burma-myanmar/38747