Dear Mr President,
Warm regards to you Mr President, it is refreshing to see you regularly updating us on what the government is doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inasmuch as I agree with you on some of the measures taken so far I think many of our citizens are still suffering and unfortunately nothing is being done to lessen the burden and mitigate their misery in these troubling times.
I say this because although there is an attempt by the Social Protection and Gender Ministry and other agencies to try and support the poorest of the poor, Mr President these efforts are not consistent with the realities of the situation on the ground.
Sir, it will interest you to know that apart from the “kayayes” who form a minute percentage of our poor and vulnerable population, we have many others who are suffering and need assistance in this time.
Mr President, we have a large majority of our population in the informal sector; farmers, artisans (ie masons, labourers, carpenters, etc), cleaners, bus conductors, just to mention a few who are under this lockdown.
Many of these groups have no bank accounts, social security etc. Aside these groups, many in the private sector have lost their jobs due to this pandemic.
A number of people even in the private sector particularly in the health space have had their salaries reduced by 50%.
I am aware of some of the measures your government has taken with regards to free water and half electricity bill. But I believe you will agree with me that our economy is such that many of these persons you claim will benefit from these interventions will not enjoy any of these reliefs.
Mr President many of the low-income families in this country live in slums or low-income areas where they live in compound houses and do not have running water and the water tanker supply you announced will never get to them.
Mr President it will be better for these Ghanaian families if government can identify them and give them resources to endure the partial lockdown. Necessity they say is the mother of invention. Sir, I believe government can find innovative ways to give some financial and other material reliefs to these people.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service every one person working has four dependants which means the average worker in this country is overburdened at this time and could use some assistance from the government.
And as our lockdown is entering the third week, I will urge you to find sustainable ways to alleviate the suffering of the masses instead of the freebies that are targeted at just a few.
We can use technology to map up areas and focus on those within these places. Additionally, provision can be made for persons outside these areas to register and also benefit provided they meet the requirements.
Mr President we are in special times and we need to take drastic measures to protect the lives of our people.
Some have suggested reducing the size of government, cutting down on non-essential expenses. Everything we can do to enhance our general wellbeing must be prioritised.
After all, what is the relevance of a government intervention in these times when it does not benefit the vulnerable and poor in our society?
Thank you Mr President.