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Press Releases of Friday, 27 March 2020

Source: Security Warehouse Limited

Disconnection, rationing and non- supply of water to communities: Govt should absorb utilities

Governments all of over the world as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus are instituting stimulus packages to sustain citizens economically through healthcare delivery, security and provision of essential social services such as water and electricity due to Covid-19

The President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on the 12th of March announced a 100 million dollar stimulus package to fight Covid-19, but on the 17th of March 26, 2020, the Finance minister however indicated, the money is not readily available as government is seeking to source funds from the IMF and other bodies.

However, in Ghana, some communities are currently experiencing either a disconnection of water and electricity due to nonpayment of utilities in this critical moment of fighting a pandemic like Covid-19. Some other communities are having rationing of water or non-supply of water and in worst-case scenario intermittent supply of electricity popularly known as Dumsor.

The Institute of Security and Safety Policy Research (ISSAPR) is calling on the government of Ghana to announce as part of its measures to fight Covid-19, a 24-hour provision of water and electricity and also absorb the payment of utilities for the citizenry for the next three months as government is considering a possible lockdown in the country starting from Accra and Kumasi where most cases have been recorded.

Most businesses in Ghana are small scale enterprises as well as peasant farmers who are already struggling to stay in business due to the collapse of many of the financial institutions in the country. The ISSAPR further urges government to be sensitive to the poor Ghanaian who is already overburdened due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Many businesses including those in the hospitality industry have closed down and sent workers home, there is general fear, panic and anxiety among the citizenry, therefore, a stimulus package from the government to citizenry and businesses alike will cushion and relief Ghanaians from the payment of utilities to guarantee some economic and financial sustainability in these crucial times.

The Ghana medical association in a recent press release has called on the government to consider a lockdown of Ghana in view of the alarming rate of convid-19.

The preventive measures to fight Covid-19 stems from regular hand washing, use of sanitizers and social distancing. ISSAPR is calling on the President and government to direct utility companies such Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to halt all disconnections due to non-payment of utility bills and also reduce the cost of these utilities for the already overburden Ghanaian.

It will be recalled that two members of parliament, Hon Kwabla Mensah Woyome, MP for South Tongu in collaboration with Hon Doyoe Ghansah, MP for Ada East jointly donated GHC18, 000 to pay water bill arrears owed the Ghana Water Company (GWC) by border communities in their respective constituencies as part of their contribution to ensure regular flow of pipe-borne water in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

The beneficiary communities were; Dordoekope, Dzetorkoe, Agbadzakope, Akligbekope, Todzokope, and Kadzah, all in the South Tongu and Ada East Constituencies. Many communities are bedeviled with a similar predicament and the responsibility lies on the government to act accordingly. Water is and has become the most essential commodity in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Signed

Adam Bonaa- President, ISSAPR

Adu-Twum Sadiq - Research Fellow, ISSAPR (0548290244)

Derick Nestor Hokey – Programmes Coordinator, ISSAPR (0243636480)

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