Ghana: Replace Voter, Other Cards of Flood Victims - Ablakwa Appeals to EC, Others

22 February 2024

Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is appealing to state institutions to put in place immediate measures and a special dispensation to replace national cards of victims of last year's Akosombo and Kpong dam spillages.

The institutions are the Health Insurance Authority, National Identification Authority, Electoral Commission, Births and Deaths Registry, and Ghana Passport Office.

According to Mr Ablakwa, the dam spillage had seen thousands of identity cards of his constituents washed away leaving them without the cards which are needed to access health care, identification and other engagements.

"Mr Speaker, since this VRA disaster, I have been confronted on a daily basis by displaced persons and other victims who demand to know how their Ghana Cards, Health Insurance Cards, Voter ID Cards, Birth Certificates and Passports which have been lost to the floods can be replaced.

"The loss of these important national IDs is making the already difficult recovery and restoration effort even more daunting. The absence of these crucial unique personal documents is exacerbating challenges of victims to put their lives together again," Mr Ablakwa said.

He made this request in a statement on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday; two weeks after he commissioned two resettlement projects which houses 600 displaced persons.

He told the House that for those who have lost their Health Insurance cards, their predicament were further compounded as they are compelled to look for money to cater for their medical bills.

"This is a really tragic situation for people who have already lost all they owned and are currently in dire straits," he noted.

The lawmaker said though the Battor Catholic Hospital in his constituency, seeing the plight of victims who had lost their Health Insurance cards decided on humanitarian grounds to offer free medical services, a more permanent and sustainable solution was needed.

As representatives of the people, he said Parliament deserved to be assured that affected citizens would not be disenfranchised in this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

"Practical steps ought to be taken by the EC to ensure that all who lost their Voter ID Cards have their cards replaced.

"It is not good enough for them to be told by the EC that they can vote without their cards when we know that they could be subjected to unwarranted challenges and frustration by party agents while others may not even bother to show up to vote since they do not have their cards replaced."

The expected replacement exercise, he said, should not only be immediate; but must prioritise convenience where officials would be deployed in the affected communities and displaced camps and free of charge on humanitarian grounds.

He called on the government to commence work on the resettlement and general compensation of the over 50,000 persons affected by the floods.

"Government must be alive to its constitutional obligations and the rights of VRA's victims. The current situation is absolutely unconscionable and untenable," he submitted.

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