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Kandahar gets budget based on 50-year-old census data

Kandahar gets budget based on 50-year-old census data

Feb 10, 2019 - 20:25

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): People and officials say the population of southern Kandahar is above three million people, but the province’s share in the national budget is allocated based on statistics from ages ago.

Civil societyinfo-icon activist in Kandahar city, Abdul Wasay Hasyal, told Pajhwok Afghan News that no precise census could be conducted in the province like in any other parts of the country due security problems but statistics of credible offices showed Kandahar’s population more than three million people.

Besides Kandahar’s own population, thousands of families fleeing the conflict have migrated to the province, he said.

Hasyal said Kandahar was granted its share in the national budget based on census conducted 50 years ago when the population was 1.3 million people.

He asked the central government to allocate the budget and services to Kandahar based on its current population.

The Kandahar provincial council also says the province’s population has exceeded three million people but budget for it is allocated for 1.3 million people.

A provincial council member, Niamatullah Sherdili, said that the Kandahar census office did not share its statistics with the central census office and that was the reason half of the population of the province was deprived of their rights.

He said information the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) shared with them showed the province’s population was 2.1 million people five years ago.

“The population since that time has increased to over 3 million people,” he said.

Rahmatullah Omarzai, Kandahar statistics and information director, said they were unable to conduct census in the province for three years due to the shortage of staff.

He said they used old census data showing Kandahar population as 1.3 million people and the central office increased the figures by 2.5 percent each year.

Kandahar acting governor Abdul Hanan Munib, said that the provincial census and information office was weak and could not conduct a precise population survey.

He said statistics available with the census office were 50 years old. “This office needs reforms which should come soon”, he stressed.

Munib said Kandahar City had four police districts in the past but now it had 11 police districts and the whole of the province was divided into 17 administrative districts.

A large number of people who had previously migrated from Kandahar to other places due to the war had returned and many more from neighboring provinces had been displaced to Kandahar, increasing the population.

Munib said the provincial administration was trying to share accurate census of Kandahar with the central statistics office so the budget and services were allocated based on the updated census.

mds/ma

 

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