Household incomes reducing at record levels post-COVID – GSS

Ghanaians across the country continue to record reductions in household incomes, while the cost of items such as food continues to be on the rise.

This is according to a report by the Ghana Statistical Service dubbed COVID-19 households and job tracker survey 2021.

The survey sampled views from a total of 7,999 households across the country.

If any situation has given more meaning to the statement, desperate times require desperate measures, it is the life of Ghanaians within this COVID-19 period.

More families have had to adjust to increasing expenditures with limited resources.

The Ghana Statistical Service in its Wave 3 COVID-19 households and jobs tracker revealed that more Ghanaians were forced to cope in varying ways as they saw a reduction in their income levels.

For most families, their income levels have not recovered to the pre-COVID-19 period–thus, the period before Ghana’s first case on March 12, 2020.

According to the report, most of the households that depended on non-farm family businesses saw the biggest income reduction.

70% of the respondents say their incomes have been reduced by more than half, while 30% of them say theirs have remained at the same level.

Though their incomes had reduced drastically, most of them had shockingly experienced hikes in food prices. About 73.4% indicated that they experienced an increase in the price of major food items.

While this is estimated to be the experience of the average Ghanaian, the survey indicates that regions categorised within the Savannah Zone, namely, Northern, North East, Upper West, Upper East and Savannah regions, were the worst affected by food insecurity.

51% of the respondents in that side of the country were worried about not having enough food, 54.1% were unable to eat healthy and preferred foods, while 49% of them had to skip a meal.

In addition to this, the average family expended about GH¢12 of their income on COVID-19 personal productive equipment.

To cushion themselves, most of them were forced to adopt several strategies to survive. Amongst them is the strategy of borrowing to support their households.

Within the period of January to October 2021, 43% of families relied on savings, 42.9% reduced food consumption, 35% received assistance from families, 18% borrowed from families and 15% sold assets.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 was not the main reason for most of the persons who were without jobs at the time of the survey.

The findings also revealed that more persons were not tested for COVID-19 and that it was difficult to get tested for the virus.