President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s in the vicinity of midnight speech experienced a single goal – help save the lives of hundreds of hundreds of Ghanaians from the coronavirus. But it alternatively spawned stress withdrawals and mass migration, therefore increasing the pressure ranges of the persons.
Just one miracles if the genuine
motive for the lockdown buy will be served by the flip of functions in the
Ghana is now grappling with
152 instances of coronavirus infection considering that the initial two cases have been declared
last two weeks. There have been five deaths. As a final result, powerful March 30,
2020, four key cities namely Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Kasoa will be
undergoing lockdown in excess of the future two months.
The main worry of a
greater part of Ghanaians in the facial area of this world wide pandemic is the impact of a
mass outbreak on the country’s most susceptible groups and the pathetic
healthcare procedure. But there is a second and crucial fret – the very poor handling
of COVID-19 interaction by the federal government, a circumstance which might velocity up the
unfold of the disease across Ghana.
Currently, an unparalleled
reverse migration is underway in Ghana and this was specifically produced by the
President’s midnight lockdown speech. The short shutdown notice has pushed up
price ranges of foodstuff and other commodities in the market. For instance, gari
‘Olonka’ which was advertising involving GHS5-7 is now selling at GHS17-20.
Equally, a tin of Nestle’s Milo then selling involving GHS14-15 is now providing
Another consequence is that
hundreds of Ghanaians, like the Kayayei who live on the margins in these
four towns are enterprise extended journeys again house. There is worry all over the place
a person turns. This development, I shudder to say, threatens the government’s
attempts at arresting the spread of the coronavirus. It also defeats the intent
of the ongoing 14-working day lockdown.
The large price ranges of
commodities in the market and mass migration triggered by the President’s speech,
have uncovered the patently systematic flaw in the government’s communication
infrastructure given that the disorder surfaced in the place.
If you are a federal government or an
institution that is all about propaganda, a disaster will usually be your enemy.
This is simply because crises have a way of tests establishments communications
attempts and stripping to bare the legitimate make-up of the communications machinery.
It is worthy of observe that conversation during crises is not and should really not be
handled as company as typical.
There are demands that
any government or institution that is managing a crisis should adhere to. These are
(a) location up a proactive Coronavirus Crisis Staff (to constantly anticipate and
strategy), (b) creating a disaster communications circumstance for all coronavirus
info (enter into the minds of constituents to remedy probable
issues), (c) keeping away from putting up roadblocks (do not impede the stream of
information to the constituent), (d) rushing up communication (provide speedy
details to the public but this requires to occur at the value of accuracy), and
at last, (e) assessing the usefulness of the plan (assess the
performance of the interaction infrastructure all through the disaster period).
Whilst the govt of
President Akufo-Addo justifies a unique commendation for the normal
situational updates it provides to Ghanaians, it has not tested proactive
more than enough. This is a time of heightened sensitivity and people are inclined to put extra
worth on the way a leader communicates than everything else.
Crisis conversation calls for
that prior to just one places out any message, the group in charge would have answered
the concerns that are very likely to linger in the minds of persons – play the
situation. And the solutions to these probable queries have to be funnelled to
the people the minute the first concept is put out. This calls for a
pragmatic and proactive method aimed at dispelling any feasible confusion
that the message could trigger. I will have to say that there is punishment for a breach of
these crisis interaction requirements.
The kneejerk response by the
Info Ministry to correctly situate the President’s concept just after the mass
stress is indicative of a shed struggle. Previously, the rates of standard commodities
have risen by way of the roof of the fisherman and petty trader at Chorkor. Also,
hundreds of people today have migrated to towns that will not be dealing with the
Obviously, the authorities has
been overtaken by events of its individual building. It is either the Info
Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah and his team had been taken unawares by President
Akufo-Addo’s speech (most unlikely) or they did not get the arranging procedure
very seriously (most probably). The penny has now
dropped and since Mr Oppong-Nkrumah and his crew went to snooze, the standard
Ghanaian has much more inquiries than answers on his mind with regards to the
At the minute, the federal government
has to deal with the unconscionable boost in the rates of simple commodities
and discover a way of halting even further migration else the illness would be
transported to our dad and mom, sisters and brothers in the unaffected towns across
The federal government desires to
physical exercise its significant voice in aiding Ghanaians keep tranquil, concentrated and engaged
actively in endeavours to quit the unfold.
The writer, A. Kwabena Brakopowers is a development
communications practitioner, journalist, essayist and a novelist whose will work
target on gender, migration, intercontinental relations and advancement. He could
be arrived at at Brakomen@outlook.com