A LETTER TO THOSE CALLING FOR A TOTAL LOCKDOWN AND AN ADVICE TO THE PRESIDENT
I have noted with shock the number of Ghanaians calling for a TOTAL LOCKDOWN within the country like a couple of Western countries have done. In as much as their emotions most likely may be driving this call, I’d like to avert their minds to some statistics of the reality in our country. And this should also serve as a guide to our President.
All my statistics are coming from the Ghana Living Standards Survey compiled by the Ghana Statistical Service, the mandated body for collection of statistics for our country.
According to AMA (Accra Metropolitan Assembly), 91% of homes in Accra the Capital City of Ghana are without places of convenience. Over 114,521 residences in Accra are without places of convenience. 315 houses use the outlawed pan latrines and 79 houses use pit latrines.
35.7% of households across the country use public toilet. 19% of households across the country resort to open defecation. 81% of Ghanaians lack access to improved sanitation or are entirely without toilet facilities. And we are talking of NATURE’S CALL oo! All these staggering statistics tells you how a very large number of our population both in the Capital City and the country at large resorts to public toilet so where and how would all these people ease themselves during a total lockdown where they can’t even step out of their houses?
In Ghana more than 5million people constituting over 18% of the population rely on surface water to meet their daily water needs. 32.3% of households across the country have their main source of drinking water from a well. 12.5% of households use a public tap. 73.9% of households in rural areas use either a well or natural sources.
Those living in poverty often pay up to 10 times more per liter for water service from private vendors than their middle-class counterparts connected to piped water services. How would these huge percentage of our population get access to water during a total lockdown in the country?
6.8 million Ghanaians totalling almost 25% of our entire population live on less than 1 Dollar a day! 2.4 million of our population are in ABJECT POVERTY meaning they can’t even afford to spend up to 50 Cent a day on food!
How do all these people afford to engage in ‘panic buying’ so as to buy and stock up foods that should last them for as long as the total lockdown would take if it would take weeks or even months?
40% of those within the ‘national poverty’ bracket are in the 3, now 5 Northern Regions. We all know how volatile that Region is so are we not calling for national security threat if we are to lock these people down and there’s no means for them to cater for themselves and their families?
According to Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Ghana Office) about 88% of the workforce in Ghana are employed in the Informal Sector and therefore “earns less money, has irregular income and does not have access to basic protections and services of the State.” In the event of a total lockdown they would be hit the hardest! Have we thought of its implications on the threat to our national security?
The Western countries such as Italy, France etc that are implementing this total lockdown are paying for the rents, foods and other basic social amenities among others for their population during this total lockdown. Their dynamics and ours are totally different! The question is can we afford same? So before we copy blindly let’s look at our statistics, facts and figures before creating a bigger problem whilst trying to solve one. Thank you
In a total lockdown that they are calling for, even cholera alone will kill more people than the COVID-19!
In the interest of the Nation
Henry Asamoah Foster
+233 55 666 1962
Member, Critical Thinkers International (CTI) – Middle Belt