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78% of localities did not benefit from free water in fallout from COVID-19

The Ghana Statistical Service says 78% of communities did not benefit from state subsidies on electricity and 25% did not get free water in July

A survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has shown that about 78% of communities did not benefit from the subsidies on water introduced by the government during the lockdown.

The study, which was carried out between May and June this year, revealed that, moreover, roughly 25% of communities did not benefit from the free electricity introduced by the government during the period under review.

According to the survey, these communities did not get electricity because they were not connected to the national grid.

Nor did they get water, because of the community dependence on sources of water other than Ghana Water Company Ltd.

Communities reached

The survey, known as the Local Economies Tracker, was conducted by the GSS in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2,770 communities in all 16 regions of Ghana.

It sampled data from important opinion leaders to understand the effect of COVID-19 on the local economy, particularly localities in border districts, lockdown and non-lockdown areas.

On Sunday 5 April, President Akufo-Addo announced: “The Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana have been directed to ensure the stable supply of water during this period. There will be no disconnection of supply.’’

The measures were aimed at cushioning the public, especially vulnerable families, from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking during his presentation of the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament in July, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said: ‘‘Because the government puts the concerns of ordinary Ghanaians first, that is why we further reduced electricity by half and completely provided potable water for free to everybody since March this year. That has, however, been subsequently extended to December 2020.’’

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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