•Many people from the county had migrated to Uganda in search of pastures and water and they were never sensitised on the importance of returning to be counted.
•The county is among regions with a high birth rate of 7.2 per cent.
West Pokot has attributed its low population count on the lack of sensitisation about the importance of the census.
The residents said pm Wednesday that many people had migrated to Uganda in search of pastures and water and informed about the importance of returning to be counted.
Peter Lochum said that most people from North Pokot subcounty had migrated to Uganda in search of pastures due to drought.
Lochum said that the herders were not informed of the importance of coming back to be counted.
“The recently released report doesn’t depict the true picture on the ground. This is going to affect our funding and decision making as a county,” he said.
He said the county is among the regions with high fertility rate and the number will affect resource allocation to the county for the next ten years.
Mark Lodukot said that many people were in manyattas in grazing fields in the neighbouring country and they thought they could be counted from the neighbouring country.
"Many people thought that the enumerators would cross the border and count them," he said.
West Pokot Assembly Speaker Catherine Mukenyang said that the numbers are lying and don’t depict the true picture on the ground.
“This county is among the counties with a high birth rate at 7.2 per cent, we are the second after Wajir. The recently released report shows that we have only increased by 100,000 people,” she said
Mukenyang said that the report is questionable since the report shows the growth rate in the country had drastically dropped.
“Which report should we believe as Kenyans, the 2009 or the 2019 report? There are missing gaps in the current report, it's either some people we not counted during the exercise. The Department of Statistics should give us a detailed report,” she said.
The 2019 Census said the county ha 621 241 people.
(Edited by V. Graham)