It is well placed to think about the poor in an event of a lockdown. But let us not rehash the daily challenges of the urban poor and use that as a subterfuge under an emergency situation to deny us all a decision that will be for the greater good. Remember the community spread of COVID 19 does not wait for us as nation to take a decision to lock or no to lockdown.
What leaders need to do now is to provide safety nets that addresses the challenges of the urban and rural poor.
Just all of a sudden the state feels sympathetic to the poor, while knowing that when the icy hands of COVID 19 hit hard, the poor will be the people who will die enmass.
As if we cannot get mobile toilets at vantage points and coordinate their use by this same poor we all of a sudden thought we are caring for. We knew this toilets situation more than a decade and did little to solve it. Rehashing that is untenable.
As if the cohesive apparatus of state power cannot be used to manage and feed the urban poor if need be. It will be difficult but it can be done.
As for majority of the rural poor, hunger and the miseries of life difficulties have become a way of daily life. So the impact of lockdown may as well be but normal in some cases.
As if we cannot house the urban poor at the state houses that are left to the vagaries of the weather. As if the empty SHSs cannot accommodate some of them.
As if the state of been poor cannot be ameliorate times of an emergency. Remember almost all nations have slums and poor people people. It will be difficult but it can be done.
Let us adopt a lockdown strategy that fit well in the scheme of things. We can innovate but we need not delay because the impact of the devastating effect of community infections is not something we can easily manage.
Let us act cautiously as we think about the poor and vulnerable persons, otherwise it might be yet another conspiracy theory that will end up making the poor more susceptible to death by the mear panick of COVID 19 when it icy hands are beginning to be felt by the poor in their slums and in the zongos.
Poverty is not a permanent state of affair, it can be alleviated. The state call Ghana should endeavor to mimic its alleviation among the poor by providing SAFETY NET and targeted SUPPLIES in this COVID 19 PANDEMIC, Should a lockdown is to be announced. Let us resolve to go into our own planned lockdown immediately for at least 2 weeks. Let us not wait for the system to force us to lockdown.
A. Hudi Ziyat Opinion!!!
A Development Consultant