Mr. Bismark Kwabla Kpobi, Executive Director of BSK Health Advocacy Foundation and senior registered mental nurse and health advocate, has made a passionate appeal to the government to redirect the COVID-19 health recovery levy fund to support residents in communities along the Volta River affected by the Akosombo Dam spillage.
Flooding due to the spillage has propelled many communities in the North, South, and Central Tongu districts of the Volta Region to seek refuge, leaving them with no alternative but to endeavor and save their lives and belongings.
In a statement signed by Mr. Bismark Kwabla Kpobi,he noted that Ghana is no longer risking COVID-19 or treating any passive or active cases despite the waste of money on “Vaccination and its Mop-up Kangaroo” just a few days ago, adding that it will be of good use for the finance ministry to channel all the monies into taking care of the health needs of the flood victims.
“It is of my greatest opinion and suggestion that the Hon.Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Minister for Health, through Speaker Alban Bagbin, take drastic but urgent steps and measures to channel the COVID-19 levy fund into another better use by the name of the “Flood Victims Health Recovery Levy” . This, I believe, will end the justified calls from the public to scrap the COVID-19 levy.”Part of the statement read:
He also noted that the spillage was caused by large inflows from above the dam due to heavy rains in the northern parts of the country, but appealed to the government to take pragmatic measures to find lasting solutions to help save the flood victims by setting up the aforementioned fund for their health needs.
“We shall not relent on professing solutions and ideas to guide our leaders on policy formulation and implementation,” the statement said.
Read below the full statement:
Divert the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Fund Permanently Into Taking Care of the Health Needs of Flood Victims.
To: Finance Minister.
Hon. Speaker of Parliament.
By: Bismark Kwabla Kpobi, Exc. Dir., BSK Health Advocacy Foundation
In the year 2021, parliament approved the COVID-19 Recovery Levy Act 1068, 2021, purposefully and strategically to take care of the health needs of COVID-19 victims.
Today, I can confidently say without any fear or favor that Ghana is no longer risking or treating any passive or active cases of COVID-19, despite the wastage of money on “Vaccination and its Mop-Up Kangaroo” just a few days ago.
As a practitioner and advocate, I am still deducted for COVID-19 Levy, just as many other workers and businesses are. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, where do those monies go and what are they used for?
It is of my greatest opinion and suggestion that the Hon. Minister for Finance and Hon. Minister for Health, through the Hon. Speaker of Parliament, take drastic but urgent steps and measures to channel the COVID-19 Levy Fund into another better use by name: “Flood Victims Health Recovery Levy Fund.”. This, I believe, will end the justified calls from the public to scrap the COVID-19 Levy.
The country is exposed to several flooding occurrences across the country due to the impacts of climate change; the most affected victims are residents along the Volta River, ranging from the northern part through the middle belt to the southern part of the country.
The whole country does record floods in one way or another in our major cities and towns, and the time is now to set up this fund to combat the health-associated risks posed by the floods.
The water-borne diseases that often result from such disasters include cholera, typhoid, malaria, pneumonia, hypothermia, skin infections, and hunger-related illnesses like ulcers, dehydration,dehydration etc due to the submersion of refuse dumps, burial graves, public toilets, latrines, dead animals, and decayed food stuffs in the water.
We cannot pretend that this issue of annual flooding will be over in a few days, looking at the vast land area covered with deep water. It is, therefore, imperative that the government take the necessary actions to give lasting solutions to victims of floods by setting up this fund for their health needs.
We shall not relent on professing solutions and ideas to guide our leaders in policy formulation and implementation.
I am a citizen and not a spectator.
Long live Ghana.
Bismark Kwabla Kpobi
Exc. Dir., BSK Health Advocacy Foundation (BSK HeAd Found.)
Sr.Registered Mental Nurse
By Lawrence Odoom