The Bongo Morgue
We understand that the Bongo District Assembly in the Upper East Region intends to use part of their share of the $1million per one constituency to construct a modern mortuary facility for the Bongo District Hospital.
This was announced by the District Chief Executive (DCE), Peter Ayimbisa at a Town Hall Meeting in Bongo, the district capital somewhere last week where he hinted that a large portion of the promised cash will be used to construct the morgue.
The DCE’s explanation was that the current state of the hospital’s mortuary is an embarrassment to the district and a danger to public health. We agree with him on the fact that the hospital should be given a decent place where dead bodies will be kept. His concerns about public health are also apt.
However, we believe using a large portion of the promised $1million for mortuary as the assembly intends to do, may not be prudent in the long run. It is counterproductive! The current state of the hospital shows clearly that the district is in dire need of a morgue, no doubt, but definitely not from the money targeted at developing the area.
We think the assembly should use their links at the Ministry of Health or the Ghana Health Service or motivate the private sector to get funding for this morgue project.
While we are not looking down on the choice of a morgue, we also think it would be best for them to look at other priority areas where employment will become the cornerstone for the establishment of a factory or a landmark project.
We are a bit apprehensive that after building the morgue, the district is most likely to be saddled with utility debts as witnessed in many state institutions.
It has always been President Akufo-Addo’s vision to lead the NPP to build a robust economy that will create wealth for all.
The $1million per constituency initiative has been designed to address the challenges of slow economic growth at the district level and we don’t believe building a mortuary will necessarily create the needed jobs.
Using the money judiciously will allow the country to reap the rewards of industrialization, increase agricultural and manufacturing output, reduce reliance on imports and increase food availability. Operating a morgue, in our opinion, cannot be part of this drive. We know that the 1D1F initiative is expected to facilitate the creation of between 7,000 to 15,000 jobs per district and between 1.5 million and 3.2 million jobs nationwide by the end of 2020 and the $1million per constituency will also open up all the constituencies. The government expects increase in job creation, promote rural income generation through grass-root participation in industrial and commercial activities.
We don’t know if constructing morgue is the only avenue left for the Bongo District but we certainly do not support this morgue construction agenda. Many districts are on course in their quest to grab this job stimulating opportunity and we entreat the Bongo District Assembly to look beyond the construction of a morgue.