The people of the Gbledi Traditional Area in the Hohoe District have celebrated the first Afadjato – Agumatsa Festival to create Community awareness of protecting the Mountain Afadjato Range from bush fires and environmentally unfriendly practices.
The festival was also aimed at exposing and marking the eco-tourism potential of the mountain, which is rated the highest peak in the country and earmarked as a special project by the people of Gbledi and Fodome – Ahor with support from the Ghana Wildlife Society.
In his address at the maiden festival, the Volta regional Minister, Mr. Kofi Dzamesi said that the objectives of the celebration was to extol the tourism potentials of the area because tourism was a priority on the agenda of government for creating wealth.
He also said the festival should enable the people to create avenues for the mobilization of human, material and financial resources to support socio-economic development efforts of the community.
Mr. Dzamesi noted that with the forest biodiversity and aesthetic values of the mountain, the area was naturally blessed to become the hub of tourism in the Hohoe District.
The development of tourist attractions would promote investment as well as put pressure on the Government to maintain basic things such as sanitation facilities to attract investors.
He therefore reaffirmed that every effort would be made to develop all tourist sites in the region as part of the regional development strategy.
In an address, the Hohoe District Chief Executive, Mr. John Peter Amewu, said the objective of the festival was a departure from normal festivals which were celebrated just for pomp and pageantry.
He said the District Assembly was exploring opportunities for an exchange programme with the People’s Republic of China to enhance the scope of tourism potentials in the District.
The Fiaga of Gbledi Traditional Area, Togbega Homatekpor V, said the celebration of the festival was a landmark in the history of the people of Gbledi and Fodome Traditional Areas.
He said the community conservation project sponsored by the Netherlands Government had contributed to positive changes in the socio-economic lives of the people.
“A recreational park has been developed at the foot of the mountain as a leisure ground for the community and tourists”.
He added that stakeholders have also gained from a sponsored study tour of Cameroon.
Togbe Homatekpor, however, decried the bad road network to the area which was a disincentive to generating tourism revenue.
The Spectator - 3 December, 2005. Page 9