Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC), in collaboration with Malin Construction Limited, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Asene-Manso-Akroso District Assembly (AMADA), the Akyem-Oda Traditional Council, and the Forestry Commission to give a facelift to one of the biggest trees in West Africa.
The 'Oda Big Tree' believed to be the biggest in West Africa is located at Aprokumase in the Asene-Manso-Akroso District of the Eastern Region.
The projects expected to commence in the next two weeks will take three months in developing the area into a full tourism space.
The scope of the projects includes a state-of-the-art entrance, a modern rest stop with a restaurant attached, a well-paved open space to host event receptions for weddings, birthdays, naming and outdooring, church conventions, among other social activities.
This was revealed when the officials from GTDC led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwadwo Antwi, paid a courtesy call on the Benkumhene of the Akyem-Kotoku Traditional Area and the Chief of Akyem-Manso, Obrempong Sintim Poku III, to introduce the contractor to the reconstruction and redevelopment of the 'Big Tree'.
Alex Incoom, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Asene –Manso–Akroso, who was present, said “the assembly has been scouting for strategic investors to develop the location of the 'Oda Big Tree' into a proper tourist site and the continuous felling of the trees in the forest is making the job difficult for them.”
Obrempong Sintim Poku III lauded the Akufo-Addo government for being 'faithful' to the people of the area and also prioritizing their development needs.
He assured the contractor that the Traditional Council would do everything possible to assist him to develop the area.
The 'Oda Big Tree' is of the Bako species with Tieghemela Heckle as its botanical name.
Although many believe the tree is located in the Essen-Apam Forest Reserve, documents at the Forestry Commission suggest that the tree is found in the Asuboni Forest Reserve.
It has a diametre of 3.22 metres at 1.37 metres, 2.72 metres at 3.1 metres, making 12 metres in circumference and 66.5-90 metres tall.
Its girth is 10.11 metres at 1.4 metres, and 8.63 metres at 3.1 metres. History has it that the tree is over 400 years old.