Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
November 25, 2021

The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of parliament and Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has lashed out at the government for not making any budgetary allocation for the second phase of the Blekusu Coastal Protection project.

According to him, he is stunned that a tidal wave disaster of this magnitude that displaced about four thousand people has not found any expression in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

Contributing to the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy on November 23, 21, he said he was disappointed at the 2022 budget statement, and “that disappointment Mr. Speaker emanates from the rather insensitive, the rather cruel, the rather unpardonable omission of the tidal waves humanitarian crisis that hit this country.

The current policy of the president is that anytime disasters of this nature have happened in other jurisdiction, he is among the first world leaders to comment, to empathize, to condemn. In Sierra Leon when a similar disaster happened, they did not only issue a statement, the Vice President led a delegation to sierra Leon to commiserate with them and to make donations. Here in Ghana, on the 6th of November, weeks before the budget was presented the president until now has refused to say a word, not a statement of empathy, not a statement of sympathy”, he added.

According to him, after going through the entire budget, and the pages that deal with Works and Housing, “all the appendices, including those that have priority areas from now to 2024, “not a mention of the Blekusu Coastal Protection project is mentioned, is not, not in the medium term; and wondered how Ghana would be seen in the comity of nations.

Per this development, he noted, leadership would be seen as a leadership that does not care, that does not owe the people a duty of care and responsibility. “And Mr. Speaker, we are speaking of a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions” and for it to be ignored is rather unfortunate.

He debunked the assertion by some of his colleagues from the Majority side who argued that the omission was because the budget was completed somewhere in September hence the tidal wave disaster in November couldn’t have found expression in the budget.  Citing an event as recent as 25th October, 2021, in which the President attended and launch a programme under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources which finds space in the budget, he said it can’t be true that the budget was completed before the event of the tidal waves disaster.

He described the government’s inaction as gross dereliction of duty, said the situation in the tidal wave affected areas is very dire, and it is sad government has not prioritized it.

Dominic Shirimori/