There have been a number of inquiries as it relates to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, of particular interest to many Belizeans is why the results have not been released. In response to these inquiries the Statistical Institute has issued a release stating that they are in the process of scanning data but they have been unable to count everyone living in the Belize District. According to Areini Palacio Morgan Communications and Marketing Officer at the Statistical Institute many Belize City residents have simply not been cooperating with census officers.
Areini Palacio Morgan; Communications and Marketing Officer, Statistical Institute
“Belize City continues to be a major problem for us. We have persons that refuse to cooperate; persons and avoid or give interviewers the run around. There are persons who have threatened or even abused our interviewers. It has bee a bit difficult for us and as such we are working overtime; even Saturdays and Sundays and late into the evening to be able to complete the entire task. We would like people to be advised that census workers are still going house to house and we want to implore all residence to please cooperate with the interviewers when they come. The interviewers are presently visiting the St. Martin’s Depores Area, the Belize Port Authority Area; we have downtown Belize City, the area next to the Western Highway, Western Avenue and that area. On the North Side we have the Buttonwood Bay Area, all the Belama Phases, the King’s Park Area and Vista Del Mar.”
Morgan says that the next step would be to have field supervisors visit those who refuse to cooperate and try to convince them by explaining the importance of the national census.
Areini Palacio Morgan
“If that should not work, they will receive a letter from the Statistical Institute of Belize reminding them of what the legal implications are and then we will take it to the courts; the legal implications being a fine not exceeding that of $500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. This is for refusal or neglecting to answer a question or knowing giving a false answer to any question or supplying false information. We understand that security and safety is one of the issues within the Belize City area. We would like to remind everyone that every census officer has an identification card and they are to ask for that identification card. They also have jackets and bags with census logos on them but if you are insecure or you are not sure please ask for the census ID card to verify. If you are still not sure you can always give us a call at the headquarters or at the Belize City office to verify.”
The numbers to call for inquiries are 227-4276 or 227-0143.