LOCAL LEADERS in Southern Province have been advised to use figures from the recent national population and housing census to ensure a proper and informed planning that would respond to local needs.
The call was made on Thursday as officials from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) met with local, security and religious leaders as well as members of the civil society to discuss the outcomes of the recent census.
The discussions centred on figures and key indicators related to the province and how they can be used to respond to local challenges.
Speaking at the function, Dominique Habimana, NISR director for statistical methods, research and publication, said the census has provided accurate figures and a clear image on the life of residents in the province.
“It is up to you to use these results to respond to people’s needs and devise solutions to existing challenges,” Habimana said.
He noted that the figures depict clearly where leaders should put more efforts and give them an opportunity to take informed decisions.
According to the recent census, Southern Province has more than 2.5 million people and is one of the most populated regions in the country
The total Rwandan population, as per the results of the 2012 population census, is 10.5 million people.
The average fertility late for a parent in the province is of four children per family while employability rate stands at 71.6 per cent.
Only 46.2 per cent of the population in the province lives in organised settlements (or Imidugudu), an area, which clearly still needs improvement.
But the most challenging problem affecting the population in the province, as revealed by the census, remains the migration of people from the province to other areas.
Statistics from the census revealed that between 2007 and 2012 more than 140,000 people left the province and settled in other parts of the country, mainly in the east.
Only 50,000 people settled in the province over the same period of time.
Although the reasons of their migration remain unknown, observers suspect it might have been a result of pressuring population density or poverty in one of the areas known to have some of the highest poverty rates in the country.
Southern Province governor Alphonse Munyantwari told The New Times that though the reasons behind the migration remain undocumented, it might be a result of residents who travel to other parts in search of green pastures for agriculture or seeking jobs.
He said the figures will be a key element that they will be based on while seeking solutions to existing challenges in the province.
Among areas that will get more efforts include promotion of family planning, Munyantwari said.