THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region has expressed skepticism regarding the Finance Minister's recent promise to allocate some GH¢220 million, as outlined in the 2024 budget, for the first phase of the Government's relief package for victims of the recent flood disaster triggered by the spilling of excess water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.
While the Volta NDC acknowledges the urgency and necessity of aiding those affected by this human-induced calamity, the party remains highly apprehensive and uncertain about the Government's ability to fulfill yet another promise.
The Finance Minister's track record in meeting financial commitments has always raised questions among the discerning public, and this new pledge only adds to the growing list of such unfulfilled assurances.
The failed promise, captured in the 2022 Budget, to make available some GH¢10 million to ameliorate the plight of residents of Anlo, Keta and Ketu South Municipalities which have and are still reeling under the havoc of the perennial tidal waves, is still fresh on the minds of the people.
To the tidal wave victims of the three southern municipalities as well as the other seven that have recently been hit by the disaster caused by planned spillages from our main hydroelectricity installations, the 2024 annual budget has woefully failed to inspire confidence since no clear commitments have been made towards their welfare while they wait for the actual release of the funds pledged in the next year's financial statement.
The recent flood disaster has left many communities along the Lower Volta in distress, requiring swift and effective action.
The Volta NDC therefore urges the Government to go beyond mere promises and empty rhetorics, and ensure that deliberate immediate disbursements of relief funds are made to drastically alleviate the hardships and sufferings of these unfortunate citizens.
The party believes that the affected people deserve a concrete and immediate response. We will closely monitor the Government's actions to ensure accountability and fulfillment of promises made in the 2024 budget.
"We do commend the Government for the submission of a document to the International Development Association (IDA) to enable it access some funds from the Crisis Response Window from the World Bank.
"We however condemn the Finance Minister's failure to inform Ghanaians about the actual amount Government intends to access and the timeline to expect such funding," it noted.
"We are equally worried about the Government's inability to spell out the additional resource allocation by the Ministry of Agriculture for the restoration of livelihood to the victims of the VRA induced flooding so we can properly hold them accountable. We will accept nothing short of full restoration of livelihood and properties of the affected victims of the flood disaster.
"We also want to inform the Government that it will be very heartless for the victims of the disaster to wait till next year for their resettlement to commence, especially when it is not clear when Government will access funds from the Crisis Response Window from the World Bank," it stressed.
He entreated government to use money from the Contingency Fund to commence the relief process of resettlement and restoration of livelihood to these victims.
To reiterate, the Volta NDC remains committed to advocating for the welfare of Ghanaians in general and Voltarians in particular, and will as such continue to hold the Government accountable for its promises and actions.