Accra, June 27, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Diasporean Relations, on Tuesday said the Wild Life Division, as a government natural resource management organization, had identified the tourism potentials of 22 protected areas around the country for the purpose of eco-tourism development.
"In this regard, the Division invited tenders for private sector participation in the construction and operation of tourists facilities in a selected parks including the Shai Hills Resources Reserve; Ankasa Resource Reserve; Mole National Park; Digya National Park and Kakum National Park," the Minister said in Parliament. He was responding to a question on plans to develop various sites including the Shai Hills Game Reserve; Dodowa Forest and Dodowa Tsenku Falls in the Dangme District.
Mr Obetsebi Lamptey said in the case of "the Dodowa Forest, its development is being hampered by land disputes as many families are laying claims to the land".
Regarding the Tsenku Water Falls, talks are ongoing between the people of Dodowa ...and Obosomase to prepare a memorandum of understanding to develop, promote and manage the resources. Obosomase is included because the Tsenku Water Fall takes its source from Obosomase in the Eastern Region while the waterfall itself is in Dodowa, in the Greater Accra Region," he said.
"When the two communities conclude on the development programme, the Ministry will give technical assistance," the Minister said. Responding to another question on plans to improve other tourist sites in the Hohoe South Constituency, Mr Obetsebi Lamptey said private investment was being sought to provide more guesthouses and other facilities for the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary.
He said the sanctuary "harbours the highly endangered mona species of monkeys. There is already a visitor receptive centre and a two-bedroom guesthouse."
On the Logba Tota Caves, also in the Hohoe South Constituency, the Minister said: "as part of the domestic tourism promotion, Logba Tota will be introduced to the tour operators and travel agents all over the country".
"....in collaboration with the District Assembly and the community, the history of Logba will be documented for sale to tourists," the Minister said.
In a related development, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, told Parliament that the Government; Regional Security Council and the District Assembly would continue to ensure that all citizens of Asutsuare in the Shai-Osudoku Constituency lived in peace and harmony. "Mr Speaker, the efforts of the Government in ensuring peace in the area, has culminated in the establishment of a multi-million dollar banana plantation in Kasunya, near Asutsuare, by the Golden Exotics Farms. It is hoped that this plantation would enhance economic activities in the area and offer more job opportunity to the youth," he said.
Sheikh Quaye was responding to a question on when a report of the committee on the Asutsuare disturbances would be released and the recommendations implemented.
He said the report had already been submitted to theGovernment and would soon be released.
He, however, said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) through its Permanent Conflict Resolution and Management Committee had made approaches to the warring factions and had brokered peace among them. "We can say some appreciable level of peace is now prevailing in the area. Since 2004, no major conflicts have been reported," he said.