May 19, 2024

The Eye Of Africa

Some people with disabilities are sleeping in front of the Road Ministry

2 min read

A disabled man on a wheelchair makes his way through the Nasrec arena where a wheelchair tennis tournament was organised to raise awareness about people with disabilities on World Disability Day. Picture: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

In November 2021, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, announced a ban on road toll collection in Ghana. This decision, later reinforced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta during the 2022 budget presentation, unexpectedly left individuals with disabilities jobless. These individuals had been employed as toll collectors, and the sudden change in policy disrupted their livelihoods.

Since losing their jobs, some of these persons with disabilities have resorted to sleeping at the premises of the Road Ministry. Their act of picketing serves as a poignant expression of their demand for employment, a plea that echoes two years after the toll collection ban. The toll collection had not only been a source of income for them but also a means of sustenance.

Despite assurances from the government to reassign those affected, a significant number of disabled toll collectors remain unemployed. Faced with the challenges of joblessness, they are now urging the government to provide them with the necessary financial support. Specifically, they are seeking the payment of their arrears, which would empower them to embark on new business ventures independently, should reinstatement to their former toll collection roles prove unfeasible.

This situation highlights the human impact of policy changes, underscoring the struggles faced by vulnerable groups when their livelihoods are abruptly disrupted. The call for financial compensation underscores not only the immediate need for support but also the desire for self-sufficiency among those affected. As these individuals continue their protest at the Roads Ministry, their story serves as a reminder of the broader implications that policy decisions can have on the lives of ordinary citizens.

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