NSA Releases Regional Statistical Barometers

Erongo, Karas and Khomas regions lead the country’s literacy rate with 97 percent of literacy among people aged 15 years and older, with the Hardap Region at second place with a literacy rate of 91 percent. The figures are higher than the country’s national literacy rate, which is estimated at 89 percent. The national average is however higher than the 65 percent literacy rate for Kunene Region, 73 percent for Omaheke Region and the 83 percent for Otjozondjupa Region.

The figures are contained in the newly launched Regional Profiles from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA). The profiles break down figures contained in the 2011 Population and Housing Census into more detailed comparisons of regions and constituencies.

“As of today there is no longer any excuse for any of us to be governed by ignorance about our surroundings. There is absolutely no longer any excuse for any councillor, planner, chief regional officer, governor or any other policy maker not to be informed about the minute details of our country, region and even constituencies. Yes, even constituencies, as this detailed information is available from today onwards,” said Priscilla Beukes, Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

The regional profile breakdown of the 2011 census on access to safe drinking water, toilet facilities and electricity shows that 96 percent of households in the Erongo Region have access to safe drinking water while 81 percent use electricity for lighting. Furthermore, only 11 percent of households in the Erongo Region are reported not to have access to toilet facilities and only 15 percent use wood or charcoal for cooking. In stark contrast, only 52 percent of households in the Oshana Region have safe drinking water whilst 88 percent make use of wood and charcoal for cooking.

The national figures say 80 percent of households have access to safe drinking water, 49 percent do not have toilet facilities, 42 percent use electricity for lighting and 54 percent still use wood or charcoal for cooking.

From a national perspective, NSA indicators show that 16 percent of households derive their income from farming, 48 percent from wages and salaries, 15 percent from business and non-farming activities and 15 percent rely on pensions as their main source of income. However, the regional profiles detail these figures to show that in the Karas Region only 5 percent rely on farming whilst a significant 72 percent rely on wages and salaries and only 5 percent depend on business and non-farming activities. Pensions are the main source of income for 11 percent of households in the Karas Region. In the Omaheke Region, 22 percent of households rely on farming, 49 percent on wages and salaries and 13 percent depend on pensions as their main source of income.

The regional profiles, which are more than 100 pages each, means that decision and policy makers are now able to compare regions and each and every constituency within these regions.

For instance, while the 2011 Population and Housing Census confirms that Namibia’s population density is 2.6 people per square kilometre which is one of the lowest in the world, this figure varies greatly within the different regions and constituencies.

The Zambezi Region for example has a population density of 6.2 people per square kilometre while the Erongo Region has only 2.4 people per square kilometre and the Hardap Region a mere 0.7 people per square kilometre.

The Karas Region is the least populated region in the country with only 0.5 people per square kilometre and the Ohangwena Region has a population density of 23 people per square kilometre.

“Government’s decisions can only be as good as the information we have at hand required to make the necessary decisions. If the information is lacking then decisions might be lacking as well.

“With the release of these regional profiles we are more than certain the NSA is playing its rightful role in providing statistics that are needed for relevant evidence-based planning,” noted the Statistician General, Dr John Steytler.

Source : New Era