Sierra Leone begins long awaited census

Sierra Leone has begun a national census that is expected to last for two weeks.

The exercise followed the launch on Friday when President Ernest Bai Koroma repeated calls to all to partake and ensure a successful census.


Thousands of volunteers will move from house-to-house to interview heads of every household.

President Koroma, at a special ceremony on Friday, declared December 4 and 5 as reference nights, which meant anybody who was anywhere within the borders of Sierra Leone at that point, would be counted.

And on Saturday, the President became one of the first to be counted at a symbolic ceremony at his residence presided over by the Statistician General.

“I will appeal to every other head of households to endeavour to provide all the information needed,” the president said after responding to all the questions in the questionnaire.

The government has described the exercise as a defining moment as it would ensure the country moved forward in building a democratic state with update data at the disposal of the policy makers.

This is the fifth census to have been carried out in Sierra Leone since 1802, long before independence, and the second since after the end of the 1991-2002 civil war in 2004.

The exercise had been cancelled twice, due to the effect of the Ebola epidemic.