President Nana Akufo-Addo has said there would be no water shortage and power outages during the lockdown period.
“The Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana have been directed to ensure the stable supply of water and electricity during this period”, the President announced on Sunday in his fifth national address on the coronavirus situation, adding: “In addition, there will be no disconnection of supply”.
“Furthermore”, he noted, the “government will absorb the water bills for all Ghanaians for the next three months, i.e. April, May and June. All water tankers, publicly and privately-owned, are also going to be mobilised to ensure the supply of water to all vulnerable communities”.
The President appealed to Ghanaians to tolerate the lockdown measures as the nation battles the virus.
“Fellow Ghanaians, tonight, I stand before you to ask for your continued patience, support, vigilance and adherence to the measures. Let each one of us play his or her part to enhance our collective efforts at containing the spread of the virus, which will enable us to hasten the lifting of these restrictions, and returning the nation to normalcy.
“I was encouraged by the appreciation of the government’s handling of the pandemic, and the offer of support by the leadership of the major political parties in the country, who I met on Friday.
“I applaud Parliament’s decision to call off its planned recess, and be on standby to aid in the fight against the virus.
“I thank staff of the University of Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research, and the National Public Health Reference Laboratory of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for the solid work they are doing for Mother Ghana.
“I am very grateful to the individuals and institutions, who have responded to my appeal for donations to be made into the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, which has been established to complement Government’s fight against the virus, and to assist in the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable. A total amount of some eight million, seven hundred and fifty thousand cedis (GHS8.75 million), which includes six hundred thousand United States dollars (US$600,000), has been received so far for this purpose. I am happy that so many appointees of my government have also followed my example by donating their salaries to the Fund”.
The President said: “We are in difficult times, and that is why I directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimise job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.
“Through this Programme, the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), working with MMDCEs and the faith-based organisations, have begun to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions. This begun in Accra today, and will begin in Kumasi tomorrow. It will come in the form of dry food packages and hot meals, and will be delivered to vulnerable communities in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa”.