The Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Hon. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has made a passionate appeal to the government to institute a housing scheme that will take care of the needs of elderly people in the country.
According to him, the initiative should be a number one priority of the country considering the level of neglect of elderly people in the various communities nationwide.
Referring to the 2010 census, he said 6% of Ghana’s 28 million population are elderly and 71% of the said figure has no place of their own.
The situation, the former Minister for Petroleum noted, must change, believing that it is only the introduction of a Housing Scheme for the elderly that will help turn things around.
“It is time for the Government of Ghana to institute a Housing Scheme for old people. It is time for the government of Ghana working with the private sector to come up with a program to support old people’s care, their personal needs, and home assistants. If we are going to be blessed by God, these are basics that God requires from us as a country to take care of the vulnerable before anything else”, he noted.
Hon. Buah made this appeal, Saturday, October 13, 2018, when addressing hundreds of the elderly at the second edition of the International Day of the elderly under theme: ‘Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions’.
The day coincided with the third anniversary of the establishment of the AYA Community Center, a recreation center established by the Ellembelle lawmaker in 2015 as a non-profit organization to entertain and provide some comfort to the elderly in the constituency.
Commenting further, he challenged the government to replicate his elderly care center in all the 254 districts across the country, stressing that “the three years that we have operated this center has shown that the elderly are not witches or evils in our society. All that they need is affection and a place to meet their friends to talk about old time”.
The former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, who as the Special Guest also commenting on the program said the life expectancy has increased for the average and ordinary Ghanaian and there is the need for the government to increase its support for the elderly and also emulate the initiative that has been done by Hon. Armah-Kofi Buah in the Ellembelle constituency.
She said when the NDC was in government, they launched a policy where the elderly were put on the LEAP program, the National Health Insurance Scheme at no fee and also introduced the Urban Elderly Card to ensure that they were able to board public transport free of charge.
“What we are asking the government is to continue these laudable interventions that were introduced by the NDC government because the elderly knows no political colour. It is our responsibility to make sure that our elderly are cared for. They are in the twilight of their lives”, she emphasized.
The AYA Community Center has since inception provided care to over 49,000 elderly in the Ellembelle constituency and surrounding communities.