St. Vincent’s Population and Housing Census data damaged
Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the exercise may have to be redone.
KINGSTON, St. Vincent, October 17, 2011 – St. Vincent and the Grenadines may be forced to redo the 2011 Population and Housing Census after the data was reportedly damaged in a fire at the Financial Complex Saturday night.
The census data was being processed on the third floor of the building that was almost totally destroyed in the blaze.
“Everything practically in that area was destroyed. It looks as if we have to do over the census,” Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves stated.
He estimated that this would cost in the region of EC$1.5 million.
The census was being conducted in most OECS states with support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, which recently trained statisticians in editing the census data.
Dr. Gonsalves also disclosed that the office of the Prime Minister, on the fifth floor, was also affected by smoke and said he would work from home for the next few days.
He stated that the Treasury Department, which is located in the same building, will continue to function and make payments where necessary.
“I understand there is a lot of smoke still, even as far up as the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said.
“After the insurance investigators come in and we will know the cause of the fire,” he added.