GIS-based enumeration kicks off in Rwanda’s 2012 census

Rwanda has officially started its fourth nationwide Population and Housing Census using GPS-based data capturing technology to map out the Enumeration Areas (EA).

This marks the culmination of the project that set out two years ago using the technology.

The census, that started on August 15, will involve over 16,500 enumerators and is expected to take two weeks. The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) primised the final results would be published within ten months of the day the census process elapses.

During this time, the enumerators will use the detailed digital map data collected to ensure that every household is covered and marked off on the database to increase the effectiveness of the process.

The GPS data collection enables the NISR to build a comprehensive GIS database, which shows boundaries, location of schools, hospitals and markets. The database also shows the main administrative units of the country as well as comprehensive information of over 17,700 villages.

The digitization process would require the NISR cartographers to capture the GPS coordinates in the field, in addition to plot the maps provided in hard copy for each of the enumerators.

NISR promised to give the census data in ten months, and it is expected to cost US$21.3 million to cover Rwanda’s estimated population of 10 million people.

Since 1978, Rwanda’s census has been carried out once every 10 years. The last census was carried out in 2002.

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