Residents are being urged to restrain aggressive pets when enumerators visit their homes to collect vital information as part of the Census 2023 process which gets underway in June.
Director of the Central Statistics Office Mr. Raymond Phillips said aggressive pets were a big concern when personnel carried out the census exercise in 2010. He said some pet owners refused to restrain their animals and this posed a threat to enumerators.
“They refused to tie the animals and that is the reason why some households were not enumerated,” Phillips explained. He appealed to residents to be polite when interacting with enumerators who will be taking on a daunting task, travelling across the territory to collect vital information that will be used in the development of the territory.
“Some persons (enumerators) quit on us because it is so daunting. Sometimes residents are quite rude and some enumerators say they didn’t sign up for that. So just like I’m asking enumerators to be patient and understanding, I’ll also be asking the population to be understanding. It is something we have to do and it is very difficult. Bear with us, it’s in everybody’s best interest to get this done and get it done properly,” Phillips explained.
He said enumerators will be guided by digital maps as they endeavour to visit every home in the territory to gather information about how persons living in the Virgin Islands
. Residents can expect enumerators in the evening hours and on weekends because many persons work outside of the home and wouldn’t be available to participate in the process during regular work hours.
“I know we have some gated communities here also. Persons in those communities could call our office and say what is the best time to come and we will relay that information to the enumerators who cover that area.”
In the meantime, Phillips urged residents to be truthful as the information collected will be used to guide the territory’s development over the next 10 years. At the same time, Phillips said his office is well aware that some individuals will withhold the truth because they fear sensitive information might be revealed.
“When it comes to personal information like illnesses and income, persons have a tendency to want to keep to themselves. But for the most part, I think persons are truthful and I hope they’ll be truthful because they will use this information to plan,” Phillips said.
Enumerators are expected to collect information from June to August this year, but may continue data collection until the end of the year.