Mrs. Dorriel Tross-Phillip, Director of Statistics, while giving an update on the ongoing census on June 21, 2022, noted that enumerators are facing challenges with outright refusals to participate by some members of the community. She warned that it is unlawful and the culprits may face a penalty.
“The enumeration in the field commenced on April 15, as we try to enumerate the whole populace of Nevis. We have met with some resistance from persons who refuse to cooperate and give the necessary information. There are those whom our enumerators would have made appoints with and our enumerators shows up, they are still unavailable and so our enumerators have to make various visits. We are asking that you please cooperate and give us your full support…
“There are some who outrightly refuse to do the census and under the St. Christopher and Nevis Statistics Act revised in 2002, it states that any person found guilty of an offence against this Act or any regulation made under therefore for which no special punishment is provided shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or six months imprisonment. We do not want to have to take any of our citizens or residents to court to get the information for the census so we are encouraging the general public, our citizens and residents to cooperate with us at the Department of Statistics in answering the general questions for the census…
“Some have it as political but we want to ensure the general public that collecting the data for census is not political and it is pertinent information that is necessary for the economic development of Nevis,” she said.
The Director of the Department of Statistics stated that alternative measures are in place to address how the data can be recorded.
“If you are having a problem with any of our enumerators or if you are not comfortable with any of our enumerators, feel free to come to our department upstairs [Horsford’s] Valu Mart, and one of our staff will complete the census questionnaire right in our office with you or if you prefer you can call us and if you’re so willing to do it via the telephone, we also can accommodate you for that.
“So we are kindly asking you to just cooperate. The information is confidential. When the data gets to us names are removed. We are just dealing with data so that we can assist the government in making the decisions that are necessary for us to move forward with our social projects to be completed, and to be done in the areas in which they are really needed,” she said.]
So far 70 percent of the census enumeration has been completed with the deadline set for June 30, 2022. Mrs. Tross-Phillip indicated that the plan is to have the data collection completed by the deadline but if it is not feasible then they would have to continue in July. She encouraged persons to call the office if they have not yet been visited by an enumerator.
“Our slated deadline is June 30th which is next week and so we encourage those that have not been enumerated if you know that no one has enumerated you, please call our office at 469-5521 ext. 5060, and we will have the enumerator in your area visit you or another enumerator can be assigned or you can come into the office and have one of the staff at the office complete the census questionnaire with you.
“So if you call you must let us know where you reside so that we can check to see who is your enumerator, who is the supervisor for that area so that they can get in contact with you. So please when you call, please give us your phone number, address and then we will make our best effort to have you enumerated,” she said.