Please save Mole Park from collapse

By Ghanaian Chronicle
By Ghanaian Chronicle

4/21/2011 5:14:42 PM -

The Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I, has called on the government to, as a matter of importance, save the Mole Game Reserve, popularly known as the 'Mole National Park,' from possible collapse.

According to the King, the Mole Game Reserve, which is truly a national asset, is currently suffering from lack of modernisation and an increase in animal variety and population.

Speaking at the 2011 Damba Festival of the chiefs and people of Gonjaland at Damango recently, the Yagbonwura bemoaned that the park, which is one of the largest tourism sites in Ghana, had been deserted for far too long by successive governments, even though it had the potential to boost Ghana's economy

He said: 'The time has come for government to engage the Gonja Traditional Council in a serious discourse, particularly, by the establishment of a Board of Trustees that would have a link with the traditional authorities and the people of Gonja, to ensure that the great asset is not mismanaged or destroyed.'

Unfortunately, a journey to the Mole National Park is a complete nightmare to both local and foreign tourists who patronise the place, due to the extremely poor nature of the access roads.

Apart from the Central Gonja District capital, Buipe, which is accidentally located on the Tamale-Kumasi highway, almost the entire Gonjaland, which constitutes over 53% of the total land mass of the Northern Region, has not got a single tarred road.

Even though the Gonja people are highly business-minded and agricultural inclined, they always suffer turbulent moments in linking up with other towns and cities with their business, services or farm produce.

The Yagbonwura lamented that almost all the Gonja District capitals and their surrounding communities had been cut off from each other, with the Fulfuso-Damango-Sawla, Tamale-Salaga-Makango-Kpandai and Damango-Daboya and Damango-Bole roads remaining the most unmotorable.

That notwithstanding, the government, according to the King, had made little or no effort to ensure that the variety of animals in the reserve were given the requisite attention, medications and meals to reproduce adequately to enrich the reserve.

He entreated the government to give the place the modernisation it deserved, and also market it properly to the international world.

The Yagbonwura also appealed to the government to restock the heavily depleted wildlife resources within the Mole Game Reserve, and also find ways of re-stocking other species of animals, to enable the park stand unique.

The Mole National Park is the largest of Ghana's national parks, and is situated in the heart of the Guinea savannah woodland ecosystem. It is home to 93 mammalian species, 33 reptiles, nine amphibians, and an estimated 300 bird species.

The mammals include some 600 elephants, 2,000 roan antelopes, 3,000 hartebeests, 4,000 waterbucks, 5,000 buffalos and some 6,000 wart hogs. Uncountable lions, leopards, hyenas and various primates can also be seen at Mole.

A total of 600 kilometres of game protection and viewing roads have been developed within the park. A basic 33-bed, no frills hotel facility, which overlooks an elephant bath, offers overnight accommodation and restaurant facilities.

Additionally, composite facilities are available for visitors. A landing strip for small aircraft provides the option of air access to Mole.