Ghanaians have been urged to use water and electricity judiciously to save the national purse, as the government take measures to lessen the socio-economic plight of the populace.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, who gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Monday, noted provision of potable drinking water remained a basic necessity and essential for life.
She said the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) had brought serious economic downturn to nations, and the government was doing everything possible to ensure the socio-economic livelihoods of particularly, the ordinary Ghanaian was improved.
“This has necessitated the need for the government’s free supply of potable drinking water for all, and free electricity supply for life-line users. We don’t have to waste water and electricity to drain the nation’s coffers in these trialing moments of our time,” she said.
Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated that the Municipal Assembly would leave no stone unturned to facelift the Sunyani township amidst COVID-19, and appealed to the business community in the Municipality to support the Assembly in the development processes.
She said some access roads in the township had been earmarked for upgrading and therefore appealed to contractors and well-to-do citizens home and abroad to support those rehabilitation works.
“COVID-19 cannot halt our development agenda, and we must bar all odds to ensure we meet the immediate developmental needs of our communities. The Assembly alone cannot shoulder this enormous responsibility and we need the support of the business community,” Madam Owusu-Banahene implored.
The MCE stressed government restrictions on the COVID-19 was not a justification for the public to defy health and safety protocols put in place to contain the spread of the viral disease in the Municipality.
Madam Owusu-Banahene underlined the importance for the populace to continue washing their hands with soap under running water, wear nose masks, frequently use hand sanitizers and observe social and physical distancing protocols.
She said the Sunyani Municipal COVID-19 Prevention Taskforce was still undertaking its routine enforcement exercise to ensure people complied with all safety protocols, warning that churches, mosques, market women, drinking bars and restaurant operators who would defy the protocols would not be spared.
Madam Owusu-Banahene expressed appreciation to all who had in diverse ways contributed to stemming the COVID-19 spread in the Municipality, saying the Assembly still required support from the public to help contain new infections.
Mid-year budget: Akufo-Addo extends free water, electricity for 3 more months
Government has extended free water and electricity to all Ghanaians for a period of three months.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2020 mid-year budget review and supplementary estimates for the 2020 financial year to Parliament on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Mr. Ofori-Atta mentioned that it is the responsibility of government to recognize the adverse effects of the coronavirus on its people.
“Mr. Speaker, the reason is simple. It is because we put the concerns and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian first. That is also why we further reduced electricity prices by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year. And we will extend it for another 3 months. To break it down, it takes a caring government of the people, and with that, I mean, a Government of all the people, to offer cost-free water to all across the country: representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana for three months.
“It takes a caring government to be for the people and for business, large and small, to choose to subsidize electricity consumption by 50 per cent to 4 million (4,086,286) households and nearly 700,000 (686,522) businesses at a cost of GH¢1.02 billion in three months. And we will extend the coverage for lifeline customers for another 3 months” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in April this year announced the reduction of electricity tariffs by half and provision of portable water for free to all Ghanaians for the months of April, May and June to make up for lost income as a result of the virus.