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11.04.2020 Opinion

COVID-19 Safety Measures Defied Due To Inequality In Ghana

By Adongo A. D. Fatawu
COVID-19 Safety  Measures Defied Due To Inequality In Ghana
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The Novel COVID-19 has shine light on the level of socioeconomic inequalities in the country. The COVID-19 virus obviously is a risk factor particularly to those at the lower end of the income distribution, who are vulnerable to purchasing power as days go by without work. These socio-economic inequalities could exacerbate if left unaddressed.

Every person certainly would prefer to stay at home in this dangerous time if only the person has what it takes to survive the lockdown.

What the government does not understand is that the difference between those who obey COVID-19 safety measures and stay at home and those who defy measures and be on the street is the socio-economic inequality that is left unchecked over the years.

Understanding how the different socio-economic inequalities intertwine will be of fundamental relevance for policymakers to address the issue of COVID-19 holistically.

There is the need for the government to understand why people still move out of the house and been chased by law enforcers amid this COVID-19? Why they bet their lives on this deadly disease?

This is because staying at home is another deadly move as they cannot provide their necessities a day without working.

On the other hand, those who stay at home have what it takes such as food, water source, and other necessities to go through the lockdown.

Let's consider the case of Fati who resides in Greater Accra;

Fati is the breadwinner of her home, a wife to her unemployed husband and a mother to four children.

She is an employee of a private school canteen, she is paid Ghc30 each week.

The family survives from this money and sometimes the leftover food she brings home from work.

Fati is asked to stay at home following the presidential directives that led to the lockdown of the region.

She is not an obvious needy nor vulnerable because she and the family has a place to lay their heads.

Staying at home, she is not getting paid, thus the family is struggling to feed as I write.

The LEAP programme does not cover her nor the relief items are shared with her because she looks descent and was once appears to be working.

The government certainly does not notice the suffering she and the family is going through behind the lockdown.

Fati is compelled to move out of the house to find food for the family, sadly she is been chased by law enforcers all day.

Meanwhile, Fati is terrified of been laid off after this pandemic because her employer has started feeling the heat herself.

Unfortunately, Fati has nothing to use as collateral to access a loan now or after the pandemic.

This is the case of several Ghanaians who look descent on the outer but cannot go a day inside the house and still get food to survive on.

The government should understand that these individuals have nothing to engage in panic buying to stock their homes.

As a friend rightly said, "I wanted to embark on panic buying until I checked my bank account and realized I could only panic because there is nothing to use and buy"

It is the inequality we should chase away not the people on the street.

Let's help the vulnerable!

Let’s say No to Inequality!!

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