Appeal to absorb water bill debts of struggling and suffering households in need – Mr. President

President Akufo Addo Speaking At Chatham House President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Fri, 31 Jul 2020 Source: Kofi Lucas, Contributor

It is true that the NPP is a Centre-right and liberal conservative party and anytime they are in government, they have always demonstrated beyond all doubt that when it comes to social intervention programmes and projects they are leading or far ahead of social democrats or socialist parties in Ghana and Africa at large.

No wonder, during this era of COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen in the history of Ghana, additional introduction of numerous stimulus packages by the NPP Government, for the benefits of businesses and individuals who are suffering as a results of the pandemic.

We are all aware that COVID-19 PANDEMIC has brought untold hardships and challenges in the area of social, economic and health development to the entire world. Developing nations have suffered a lot and are still feeling the heat. This has resulted in businesses collapsing, workers losing their jobs and family heads struggling to put food on the table.

Mr. President, as Father of the nation, full of compassion for the citizenry, a leader who is always ready to lead and welcome good suggestions, ideas and counsel, your government has once again extended her humanitarian gesture to struggling households in need by offering free electricity and water to the citizens in distress for the next three months i.e. July –September 2020.

Mr. President, we applaud this splendid action and we say: THANK YOU FOR THIS KIND GESTURE on behalf of the people of Ghana. We trust we can count on you so far as this concept is concerned.

Mr. President when the Finance Minister Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, was about to present the mid- year budget in Parliament, the workers of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) were going to various houses busily disconnecting those indebted to the company, even though Government directed in March 2020 that debtors of Ghana Water Company should not be disconnected.

I remember the President indicated that all those who are owing will however pay but GWCL should not cut their lines. I wish to appeal for a reconsideration of the directive to absolve some of the cost up to GHC2,000.00

Once again, Mr. President may You kindly direct GWCL not to cut the lines of debtors and if they have already cut the lines they should reconnect them back. I wish GWCL disconnection exercise will stop and reconnect the affected ones, upon your directive, Mr. President, a compassionate father.

If these debtors had the means they would have paid their water bills, but the truth is that the money is not there!!. Some of the debts were carried forward from 2019 to 2020 before the COVID-19 PANDEMIC came to worsen the plight of these suffering and struggling families.

It is in view of this that we are appealing to Mr. President, the caring father of the land to use his good offices to once again absorb the bill up to GH 2,000 per household as another kind gesture which will be a relief to them and they will be grateful to you.

Mr. President, some of these genuine jobless debtors also cut across all the political parties in Ghana such as: pensioners, senior citizens, and widows in Need and the Poor of Poorest in our communities in Ghana. There are others who earn below Gh¢500.00 a month. Life is tough.

Some of these debtors are beneficiaries of The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme who are receiving not more than hundred Ghana cedis a month. Just imagine hundred cedi a month, even though it is better than none. Paying water bill will be a challenge.

The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) is a cash transfer programme introduced by the Government of Ghana (GOG) in 2008, for extremely poor and vulnerable households which have the following three categories of eligible members:

• Orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) or,

• Persons with severe disability without any productive capacity and

• Elderly persons who are 65 years and above

The LEAP grant is a household grant, and the amount received by a household is determined by the number of eligible members in the households. Currently, the amount received by the number of household membership are depicted below:

Households with one eligible member – GH¢ 64.00 per payment cycle

Households with two eligible members –GH¢ 76.00 per payment cycle

Households with three eligible members – GH¢ 88.00 per payment cycle

Households with four or more eligible members –GH¢ 106.00 per payment cycle

Since the implementation of the Programme in 2008 to date the value of the grants received by beneficiaries has undergone two adjustments (in January, 2012 and September, 2015) to take care of inflation and the increasing cost of living as well as meet basic household consumption.(Courtesy LEAP website)

7th January 2017 at the Black Star square in Accra, during Your swearing-in ceremony as President of the 4th Republic of Ghana, you said and I quote: “I ask you to be citizens, not spectators, citizens not subjects, responsible citizens building your communities and our nation which is work and until the work is done. The Holy scripture in Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap our harvest if we do not give up.”

Since that time to date you have demonstrated in words and in deed, The Holy scripture in Galatians 6:9. As citizens, even though you have done a lot, we want to appeal to Your Excellency to consider our request as a matter of urgency and respond positively in the interest of these struggling households in need.

We members of Critical Strategic Thinkers Network (CSTN), a developmental Think Tank made up of deep thinkers and Problem-solving Experts ( i.e. Strategists and Professionals) will like to make our services available to ensure that we win the war against COVID-19 pandemic. All hands must be on deck.

Once again, Mr. President may you kindly direct GWCL not to cut the lines of debtors and if they have cut the lines they should reconnect them back.

It is our hope and prayer that our humble request and suggestion will be given the needed attention, consideration and approval by Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.

Yours Faithfully,

Issued and signed by

Mr. Kofi Lucas


Columnist: Kofi Lucas, Contributor
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