The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, is in tears over the failure of the Akufo-Addo government to capture the 4000 victims of Keta, Anlo and Ketu tidal waves in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also the Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs, described the situation as “most shocking and an unpardonable dereliction”.
“Our fellow Ghanaians do not deserve this cruel neglect”, he charged.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa, who posted this on his Facebook wall, said the development is “contrary to the assurances of the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye, at a press briefing on November 8, 2021, that he has engaged the Finance Minister on the urgently needed phase 2 of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project which was a 4,300 metres sea defence intervention started in 2015, the entire outlook of his Ministry provided at pages 163 to 165 (see attached) makes absolutely no provision to address this national disaster”.
Interestingly, ahead of the budget presentation by the Finance Minister, the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa had insisted that it was going to capture the construction of a sea defence wall along the coastal areas of the region.
But Okudzeto said, he had combed through the 329-page budget statement, including a list of priority projects, but found nothing in it that suggests government plans to save the lives of the thousands affected by the tidal waves.
Below is what the North Tongue MP from the Volta Region, wrote:
“It is most shocking and an unpardonable dereliction that the 2022 Budget presented in Parliament yesterday contained absolutely nothing about the catastrophic tidal waves that have left over 4,000 Ghanaians displaced in Ketu South, Keta, Anlo, South Tongu and Ada constituencies”.
“Contrary to the assurances of the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye at a press briefing on 8th November, 2021 that he has engaged the Finance Minister on the urgently needed phase 2 of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project which was a 4,300 metres sea defence intervention started in 2015, the entire outlook of his Ministry provided at pages 163 to 165 (see attached) makes absolutely no provision to address this national disaster.
“I have additionally combed through the 329-page budget to find hope for our desperate compatriots, but alas, just as the President refused to say a word of empathy or solidarity prior to the Budget presentation so has the Budget which is delivered on his authority pursuant to Articles 179 and 180 of the 1992 Constitution been dead silent on this national emergency.
“A look at Government’s priority projects from 2022 to the medium term provided for in Appendices 10B (page 282), 10C (page 283), 10D (page 284) and 10E (page 285) reveals that the Akufo-Addo administration has absolutely no interest nor plan in making an intervention to save our brothers and sisters living in harm’s way. (Also attached for ease of reference).
“Thus far, corporate Ghana, the media and kindhearted individual Ghanaians have done a much better job in offering succour to the tidal wave victims than our government which is ironically in possession of our collective resources and revenues.
“As many Ghanaians have pointed out, if this tragedy had happened in another country, President Akufo-Addo would have been among the first to express sympathy and would most likely have followed up with a visit and handsome donations as has been his reputation; the question therefore is – why is charity not beginning from home? Where is the conscience of Government?
“Our fellow Ghanaians do not deserve this cruel neglect.
God save us !Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa [MP, North Tongu Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs]