2021 PHC must guide true development

Yesterday, the Government Statistician announced the provisional results of the country’s 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC), stating that Ghana’s population is now 30.8 million.

Prof Samuel Kobina Annim said the country’s population,which was 6.7 million persons in 1960, had grown to 24.7million in 2010 and continued to grow to thecurrent 30.8million.

The female population is now 50.7 percent with males being 49.3 percent being males.

Interestingly, females outnumber males in 15 out of the 16 regions with the Volta Region having the highest number of females relative to males, while in the Western North Region, there are more males than females with a percentage difference of 2.5 percent.

Compared with the 2010 (last census) figures in which females were 51.2 percent and males 48.8 percent, we can say the country’s female population has reduced while that of males rather has increased.

The provisional results also indicate that the Greater Accra is the most populous and that it correspondingly has the highest number of 2.1 million structures out of 10.7

The facts and figures so far provided by the Ghana Statistical Service has implications for district, regional and national development in general but there must be specific considerations, the needs of children, the youth, women, the physically-challenged, and the aged, for instance.

These considerations would depend on numbers and locations and the political establishment and the experts in the various areas of needs know better what to do.

The Ghanaian Times, thus, does not intend to prescribe any action but call attention to some issues that can be done.

For instance, the ever-increasing population in the Greater Accra is not due to high birth rate per se but the fact that the highest percentage of the labour force migrates to the region in the hope of finding jobs, which is a prompt that the country’s development is jaundiced and must be treated.

It is about time particular attention was paid to job creation everywhere possible and the paper believes the initiatives adopted by the Akufo-Addo administration such as 1District 1Factory (1D1F) must be sustained and boost.

Since some people have chosen to lead their lives in rural and other difficult areas no matter what, it means that if life is made a little bit comfortable across the country, a good number of people would prefer to live in such place.

That situation would relieve the state the strain of always trying to meet the needs of the ever-increasing numbers moving to the urban centres and as well dealing with the attendant social vices and crimes.

One other important   issue has to do with structures. The provisional results, for instance, talk about 2.1 million structures in the Greater Accra.

What are their kind, state, and habitability, and what is the nature of planning of our communities.

If people are living in uncompleted structures, kiosks and other inhabitable places without water and sanitation facilities, insanitary conditions and diseases grow.

The current situation is that government agencies mandated to check haphazard planning are sleeping on the job, which is why there are insanitary problems and flooding at the slightest rainfall.

It is about time the government took keen interest in the provision of housing for the have-nots and made it truly affordable and the haves stopped from hijacking the so-called affordable housing units.

The Ghanaian Times hopes the 2021 PHC results would prompt creative thinking in the new normal era.

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