Saturday, February 17, 2007
Lake Bosumtwi –
A Destination for Eco – Tourism
By: KINGSLEY E. HOPE - Kumasi
If you briefly visited Kokoado or especially Abonu Communities in the Bosumtwi – Atwima – Kwanwoma District of Ashanti, then hopefully, you are diligently, planning to go back for one thing which, probably, you did not have much time for, The Lake Bosumtwi.
Regarded as Sacred, Lake Bosumtwi is a unique natural phenomenon and one of the most preserved structures on earth with its original features still intact.
The Lake and its surrounding communities including Kokoado and Abonu, offer an opportunity for eco-tourism and a natural scientific museum.
However, it appears that knowledge about the origin of the lake is very little known among Ghanaians and many tourists.
The origin of the Bosumtwi water has been a subject of discussion in the past among various scientists, but the results obtained from the systematic studies of geo-physical criteria led to the conclusion that the water originated from the impact of a meteorite – a rock or metal fragment formed from a meteor, a piece of rock from outer space that has earth’s surface.
The meteorite impact theory had been supported by a large body of evidence including the discovery at the Lake Bosumtwi site of the mineral coesite, a high pressure modification of quartz, by four American researchers in 1961. The formation of this mineral requires very high pressure and its temperature conditions cannot be generated by nuclear explosions, and therefore, the presence of this mineral at any site on earth is an indication for a meteorite impact.
Rock samples, popularly known as the Ivory Coast Tektites, which were discovered at a site in Ivory Coast, 250 Kilometres from Bosumtwi, have been proved to have been ejected from the Bosumtwi crater and these Ivory Tektites have the same age as well as similar isotopic and chemical compositions.
Since these discoveries, a meteorite impact origin of the Bosumtwi Crater has been accepted.
I hope by now, you are yearning for the age of the crater. It has been established to be about one million years based on the impact melt rocks at Bosumtwi and the Ivory Coast Tektites according to Barnes, 1961; Cohen, 1963; Schnetzlar et al, 1966.
The Lake is on the North-West side of the Obuom range, about 30 kilometres South-East of Kumasi. It lies in a nearly circular depression or crater, 11 kilometres in diameter from the north to south and 10 kilometres from east to west. The Lake has a diameter of eight kilometers and a maximum depth of about 80 metres.
It has an upraised rim, whose crest is about 250 – 300 metres elevation above the central crater – Lake, surrounded by a ring-shaped depression. Outside this depression, is the outer ridge which maintains a fairly constant distance of 10 kilometres from the centre of the Lake and stands at an elevation of 30 to 80 metres above the depletion.
There are several communities that have encircled the lake making it look like paradise when the lights from the communities beam onto it especially at night.
Some of the communities are Apewu, Beposo – Amakom, Duase, Tumiabu and Mmorontuo.
It must be emphasized that the lake and its surroundings have the potential of opening up the place for tourism attraction such that the need for the establishment of a scientific museum, tourism resorts should not be echoed.
This would definitely give employment for the youth around the area and therefore reduce the pressure on the lake as a result of fishing so as to allow the Lake to replenish its stock.
But, something unusual appears to be on-going which is impacting negatively on the natural phenomenon.
Some people have been pulling out pieces of rocks exposed along the roads especially between the Guest House at Kokoado and Abou for building purposes.
Because the rocks are highly shattered and fractured the area is dominated by faults and weak zones. The activities of these people cause rock masses to slide down the walls of the road cut in the course of the complete reconstruction of the access road to the water.
It has been observed that some of these people extend their activities further into the terrain. The rock slabs which are mostly preferred are – like in nature and are removed for whatever purpose.
The activities can trigger environmental hazards such as landslides and massive erosion and therefore pose as a treat to the lake basin and its natural environment.
The need for authorities concerned to check these people cannot be emphasized to avoid the destruction of this exceptional landscape of touristic value.
The necessary educational programmes must therefore be carried out to create awareness among the communities in and around the lake basin to safeguard the area from these bad practices.
The communities should be told that the preservation of this natural phenomenon is in their own interest.
The Spectator - Saturday, February 17, 2007 Page: 19