I live in Adjei-Kojo in the Tema West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
I’ve been living here for the past 3 years and within that period I can count on one finger the number of times our taps have been locked.
Whenever the tap is locked the water flows again within the next 24hrs. During this entire period, my tap was locked for over 24hrs on just one occasion.
Yet in the face of this stellar water record, my tap is currently not flowing. Within the past couple of weeks, our taps remain locked for days on end, come for a few hours mostly in the dead of night and then get locked again.
So what has changed? Nothing really, apart from the fact that the President’s initiative to pay water bills for Ghanaians is now in full force.
Suddenly, miraculously, now that we have to depend on the government to foot our water bills my tap has become adept at staying locked for majority of the time.
Now I can’t speak for everyone in the country but this is my experience and it seems suspicious to me that it’s happening at this very moment.
These water shenanigans is a perfect encapsulation of the half measures President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo seems to be taking in fighting this coronavirus pandemic which has seen him fall from one of the most praised leaders in the world for his handling of the crisis to one of the most derided.
The President announced this measure to public fanfare, but from my experience at least it seems they are trying to lessen the burden with these strategic locking of taps.
The gentleman is trying to eat his cake and have it too.
Perhaps the most egregious of all these half measures is the President’s handling of the lockdown he implemented to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
At a period when Ghana’s infection rate was far smaller than it is now, Nana Addo came out with decisiveness to lock down the country, declaring solemnly that we know how to revive a dead economy but not how to revive dead people.
That quote, allegedly plagiarized, got him kudos from all over the world. Bombastic British presenter Piers Morgan lavished praise on him, first on Twitter and then on his show Good Morning Britain. Anyone who follows Piers knows that it’s not an easy thing to get praise out of him unless you’re Donald Trump.
Yet after initially preparing to take his responsibility to save lives seriously, the President slacked back into his half measures mode. He lifted the lockdown after 3 weeks and since then the number of positive cases have shot through the roof.
From 161 cases when the lockdown was announced to about 1,000 cases when it was lifted, we are now close to 6,000 confirmed cases! Yet Nana Akufo-Addo has not lifted a finger to do anything but is simply holed up in his Flagstaff House office as the numbers increase whilst the government takes no concrete action.
What has changed for people to be moving around so freely now when the numbers of infected people continues to climb exponentially? Have we magically learned how to revive dead people within the past two months?
Once again what you have is Akufo-Addo taking an action that seems decisive and admirable at first then not enforcing it properly – ending up with a half measure that doesn’t correlate to what was promised.
His coronavirus response has become such a shambles that he’s now left with bragging about the amount of testing done in Ghana – even lying about it and being caught out by the AFP, bringing shame on all of us.
It seems to me that Nana Akufo-Addo loves announcing measures which would get him accolades and praise for his effective and decisive leadership, but then when the time comes to face the consequences of his decisions he tries to skirt his own responsibilities, either by doing nothing or by using creative ways to lessen the impact of what was promised.
Now nobody is saying that getting any sort of discount on your electricity or water bills is a bad thing – it’s incredibly admirable and much better than what many others are getting in their countries – but as a leader you have a responsibility to say what you mean and announce exactly what you plan to do.
You cannot say one thing, get all the accolades then try creative ways to get around fulfilling your word. That is a man trying to have his cake and eat it too and at the end of the day we can only call such actions dishonest.
Quite like claiming Ghana has done more testing than every other African country when it is a blatant lie!