A survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed that most localities in Ghana did not benefit from the free water and the subsidies on electricity provided by the government to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. 

According to GSS, this is because these communities do not have access to pipe-borne water and are they part of the national grid.

“Close to 25% and 78% of localities did not benefit from the subsidies on electricity and water respectively because of the unavailability of these amenities,” a press statement released by the Service read.

The survey, dubbed the Local Economies Tracker done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was conducted on 2,770 communities/localities in all the 16 regions of Ghana.

Out of the total number of localities surveyed, 554 of them are in districts that were in lockdown areas; 1,169 were in districts that share international borders with other countries (border districts), and 1,047 were neither in lockdown nor border districts (other districts). 

These communities, the survey revealed, depend mainly on other alternative sources of water and power for survival.

In a press statement released, the statistical service stated that these communities benefitted from donations of PPEs and food items by some individuals and private entities along with government.

“Support received by the communities from churches and philanthropists is a clear demonstration of how non-state actors have and continue to complement governments effort to ensure communities recover better from the pandemic,” Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, Sillke Hollander revealed.

As part of measures to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19, the government of Ghana absorbed the water bills of all Ghanaians, provided free electricity for lifeline consumers (those whose monthly electricity is up to 50 kwh) and gave 50% subsidy on electricity to consumers who consume more than 50 kwh of electricity per month.

The survey also revealed that 34.1% of localities saw an increase in crime adding that localities that were on lockdown the highest increase in crimes. 

“Theft and burglary were the two most common crimes, followed by domestic violence and assaults in that order.”