The President, in his 5th Nations Address to Ghanaians, on the coronavirus outbreak made mention of remarkable measures taken by the government to combat the novel disease. In respect to his speech, he made mention of some significant decisions he and his government have taken upon themselves to aid and assist Ghanaians in these difficult times.
From the presidents point of view, he made mention of decisions they have taken towards the health sector, banking sector and other businesses, Immigration and also Basic amenities for citizens needed for survival. What really caught my attention was cutting off three (3) months water bills which was to favor the majority of Ghanaians especially the ordinary Ghanaian but sadly it doesn’t.
A lock down which was instituted in Accra, the epicentre of the coronavirus and Kumasi was to last for two (2) weeks. Since the progress in combating the virus has not improved, the country is preparing for a rough coming week whit over 10,000 people being tested through contact tracing and results still awaits. The lock down could elapse to a month or more.
Today, approximately 16 per cent of Ghanaians households rely on pipe-borne water as their main water supply. Leaving the remaining 84 per cent to get water from public stand pipes, private water supply and wells, rivers and from any source they can find possible. In this time of business stand still and restricted movement, only the 16 per cent are to benefit from the government initiative which majority of them are rich. Leaving those with no access to water supply in their homes at the mercies of their fate. When they also tend to be the ordinary Ghanaian in the society.
Water, they say is life and now free during these times which very recommendable. Private water delivery companies, public stand pipes will continue sell to the public due to their cost in production. With this, the normal Ghanaian attitude of taking advantage of situations to enrich oneself as we have seen recently in hoarding of prizes of hand sanitizers and food stock. Most people are now home, business is on halt, food prices are up, electricity is not on constant supply, money is not in the pocket and the least measure the government could take was an initiative to benefit the 90 per cent or more Ghanaians not only 16 per cent of the population, who most of them find themselves in the category of the high class.
Eventually, people will need to pay rent, feed themselves and family, pay medical bills, light bills, loans and many other stuffs which the government could have done better in seeking the interest of the 90 per cent and more Ghanaians than just 16 per cent of Ghanaians whom surprisingly turn out to be the rich in society. On the other note, workers are getting pay cuts and being laid off work. Of course the government have put precautions and measures to support small scale businesses by introducing soft loan scheme up to GHC600 million. The question still remains, will that be enough for every business in Ghana or will it be based on “whom you know”? as that has been our culture for long.
Apparently, the government claims it has begun to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions. Now, will this be enough for the over 2.4 million and 3.2 million population of Accra and Kumasi respectively? With over a million households?. Will the food be delivered strictly to the poor and people in the slums who find it hard to make a day meal or people of all class? people who have the means and have already stored food in abundance?. The real poor people live in the slums, and that’s where the food should be directed to and not to people living in affluent areas. It now depends on the fate of the real needy people to benefit from this program and not the affluent people as we have always known because the Ghanaian system and individuals are overwhelmed with corruption and unpatriotic attitude.
By: Nii Okai Tagoe.