More than 300 couples who published bands to register their marriages at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) last year failed to turn up for registration due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the 616 bands recorded, the Marriage Registry registered 318 of which 313 were under ordinance marriage while five were under customary marriage.
This compares with a total of 695 Marriages registered in 2019, representing a 79 per cent decline in 2020.
Metropolitan Solicitor, Ebenezer A. Kwaitoo, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast.
He attributed the decline to the restrictions on social gathering imposed last year by the President as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus in the Country.
Another factor, he noted was economic hardship brought about by the ‘stay at home’ order which collapsed many businesses.
He said some people only visited the outfit to make inquiries while others kept postponing their registration.
”Last year we had high hopes until the pandemic struck in the beginning of the year and threw everything in disarray,” he said.
Mr Kwaitoo expressed concern about the high rate of divorce cases and urged would-be couples to adequately prepare themselves before going into marriage.
“Marriage is a serious institution, it should be a life-long affair and both parties will have to understand that before getting themselves involved,” he advised.
He said most youth rushed into marriage without actually understanding the consequences.
He urged them to always go for marriage counselling to prepare them adequately for marriage.
Mr Kwaitoo indicated the outfit would continue to engage people through media sensitization and education to get them to make informed choices to reduce the rates of divorce in the Country.
The CCMA Marriage Solicitor encouraged churches operating without registration licenses to as a matter of urgency get registered, adding that they it was unlawful for them to celebrate marriages when they have not acquired the requisite license to do so.
On Covid-19, Mr Kwaitoo urged Ghanaians to observe the precautionary measures to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
He said the surge of the virus recently was due to reluctance of Ghanaians to comply with the safety and health protocols outlined by the Ghana Health Service and called for collective efforts in reducing the spread of the virus for social activities to boom back.