Tourism; the Other Ghanaian Pandemic

The pandemic is not getting any better, I must confess. Whew!
It was Wednesday, an early mid-morning adventure to one of Ghana’s tourist sites, the Boti Falls.

The twin waterfall is located in Yilo Krobo Municipality in the Eastern region of Ghana. A place that once was referred to as the most attractive venue in that area by the former president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah upon his first visit.

And so, we were in good company, to thread this same path and discover a bit of Ghana that is often talked about as an envious destination for tourists in all respects.

This visit includes students, artistic activists, and creators from different backgrounds, much to the sound of excitement and delight of all traveling members onboard.

But of course, the journey did not come without hurdles, bundled in a bit of fear with a bumpy, skimpy road faced with a piece of big vehicular machinery digging trenches, clearing of trees in what appears to be a construction of a new tar road for the municipality, thus the road leading to the waterfall. One asked, ‘Didn’t Dr. Kwame Nkrumah use this same route to the waterfall?’ It is Ghana, remember! The other retorted. How come we allow such an important road to degrade into this deplorable state!

We often take things for granted, even roads leading to one of our foremost tourist sites. I wondered; what might go through the minds of foreigners who ply this road for the sake of visitation.

Our invitation to the site draws near, about an hour’s journey from Adukrom, in the Eastern Region. Here, the Fall looks in sight and we were ready to embark on this adventure, we must go back with a new experience albeit.

At the request of the tour guide, men, women, and students took the stairs descending to the waterfall- one step at a time and treading behind each other to this beautiful scape.

You cannot escape this glorious view!

However, things did not look as expected, it is a twin waterfall, remember? It appeared only one side of the waterfall had water streaming down from it. The other side is dry with no water! What has happened? I dared ask the tour guide. He fumbled, with a look on his face worrying, as one lost of words. It’s somewhat disturbing, he answers; ‘about 40% of the forest reserve has been tempered!’ He continues, ‘the groves that cover the river through the jungle have been destroyed by human activities such as illegal felling of trees, annual bush burning by ‘bushmeat’ hunters and local [farmers] folks.

Ghana’s problem

It is no different, this country has had a lot of issues at hand even before this pandemic. With the ill culture of maintenance, disregard for other social issues, and at the height of global climate change and threats facing the world, many seem unperturbed. Our plans and efforts to shape talks on climate issues still remain minimal. ‘Illegal hunting, bush burning in this age and stage?!’ what has law regulators got to do? Well, you ask –

This is my bit, as I write and highlight the issues that threaten the waterfall and the ecosystem altogether. It is important to bring to the attention; the pandemic of unconcern Ghanaians, the pandemic of poor maintenance culture, disregard for rules and regulations, and the pandemic of ‘it is not my property’ pronounced by common folks.

This is to be curtailed and make civilians abide by the law and maintain social sanity and civility in the conduct of every Ghanaian to minimize this menace.

What is the Ghanaian made of…?

I would like to end here without failing to say the trip was fun and educative albeit, and we carried with us a more concerted approach to this twin waterfall tourist site in the future.

Hopefully, we get to return again but to a promised change of scenery- thus both streams flow happily because that’s what twins do; they move together.

And importantly, to see the female side of the fall flow again traditionally because that’s all we want to witness, sigh.

Let’s get rid of Tourism Pandemic today!

Written by: Mac-King T. Thompson

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