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Fact-checking NDC’s Press Statement on #DropThatChamber

3 mins read

CLAIM 1: In the 21st century, over 20 percent of Ghanaians live without potable water and are compelled to share very dirty and infested water with animals

VERDICT: Based on the available data from the MTEF for 2018-2021, the claim is TRUE; over 20 percent of the population lacks access to potable water.

CLAIM 2: About 16 percent of our people are without access to electricity

VERDICT: Considering the available data, the NDC is right in its claim that about 16 percent of Ghanaians lack access to electricity.

CLAIM 3: Close to 3m Ghanaians live below the poverty line

VERDICT: Based on this evidence from the Ghana Statistical Service, it is safe to say that close to three million Ghanaians live below the poverty line

FULL TEXT:

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), waded into the public debate on the proposed construction of a new parliamentary chamber for Members of Parliament with a press statement. The construction of the chamber, which has since been dropped following widespread public condemnation, was estimated to cost taxpayers $200m. 

Titled “Statement by the National Democratic Congress on Proposed $200 Million Parliamentary Chamber,” three main claims concerning the current state of the country, were made by the party for which reasons they argued that the construction of a new chamber is a misplaced priority. But how true are these claims?

The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Peter Boamah Otukunor, when contacted to ascertain the party’s source of information on these claims directed DUBAWA to the 2017 and 2018 National Budget Statements.

Verification of Claims:

CLAIM 1: In the 21st century, over 20 percent of Ghanaians live without potable water and are compelled to share very dirty and infested water with animals

VERDICT: TRUE; over 20 percent of the population lacks access to potable water.

Data on access to potable water in the country was found in the Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2018-2021 Programme Based Estimate for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. According to the statistics, 78% of the national population have access to potable water services. Access is however not evenly distributed as more people in urban areas (80%) have access to safe drinking water than residents of rural communities (66%).

The United States Agency for  International Development (USAID) also reports that 80 percent of Ghanaians have access to improved water sources


CLAIM 2: About 16 percent of our people are without access to electricity

VERDICT: TRUE, the NDC is right in its claim that about 16 percent of Ghanaians lack access to electricity.

According to the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, national access to electricity is currently 84.3 percent, an increase from the 83.62 percent access rate of 2017.

Information on the website of the Ministry for Energy also indicates that 83.24 percent of the population has access to electricity. This is slightly more than the 83 percent of access rate reported by the USAID in a post that was last updated on November 8, 2018.


CLAIM 3: Close to 3m Ghanaians live below the poverty line

VERDICT: TRUE, close to three million Ghanaians live below the poverty line

Living below the poverty line, which is also referred to as living in extreme poverty or the lower poverty line, is measured differently by states and organisations. The international standard for measuring extreme poverty is the possession of less than $1 a day. For the World Bank, individuals or households who are unable to afford $1.90 per day live in extreme poverty.

In Ghana, people who cannot afford to spend Gh¢2.17 per day on food are considered to be living below the poverty line. The total expenditure per adult per year of these individuals or households, who are unable to meet their minimum nutrition requirements, falls below Gh¢792.05.

To verify this (as with the others), we checked the 2017 and 2018 National Budget Statements as recommended by Mr Peter Boamah Otukunor. Although the information was not found there, a search on the Ghana Statistical Service actually aligns with the figures he quoted. 

According to the report on the website, 2.4 million people (8.2%) live below the poverty line. Extreme poverty is a rural phenomenon, with about 2.2 million persons living in extreme poverty in rural areas.

Caroline Anipah is the Programme Officer of DUBAWA, Ghana. She holds an MPhil in Communication Studies and an undergraduate degree in English and Political Science from the University of Ghana. She is a trained journalist and has engaged in various research activities with notable institutions including Ghana Statistical Service, German Development Institute (GIZ) and the USAID Evaluate for Health over the years. She has also worked with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) on a regional (West Africa-wide) comprehensive research on the state of the media. She brings to the project and team, her experience in both media and research.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kojo

    August 6, 2019 at 07:24

    Good work….. Keep checking politicians else they will continue churning out fake data

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