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17.01.2008 Regional News

Another Monkey Sanctuary Discovered

By Daily Graphic
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The new monkey sanctuary discovered at Duasidan in the Dormaa District of the Brong-Ahafo Region brings to two, the number of such sanctuaries in the region. The other one is at Buabeng-Fiema in the Nkoranza district.

Besides the two monkey sanctuaries, the Buoyem Bat Colony and the Tanoboase Sacred Grove are two other eco-tourist attractions in the region.

The Duasidan Monkey Sanctuary became a reality through collaboration between Green Shepherd Ghana (GSG) and Motivators Development and Initiative Centre (MODIC). Both are non-government organisations (NGOs) interested in the protection of the monkeys and the Duasidan community.

The Duasidan Monkey Sanctuary project, which was inaugurated recently at a colourful durbar of the chiefs, elders and people of Duasidan, is being financed by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environmental Fund, the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) and German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) through SPEED Ghana.

Tracing the history of the sanctuary, the Chief of Duasidan, Nana Oppong Kyekyeku Ababio told Showbiz that it was designated as a sacred grove about 120 years ago by a traditional priest called Akua Korkor during the reign of Nana Asiedu.

He said the traditional priest and Nana Asiedu decreed that the monkeys should not be harmed. Out of fear that the gods would punish anyone who defied the order, the animals have been preserved till now.

Nana Oppong Kyekyeku expressed his appreciation to Green Shepherd Ghana and MODIC for helping to make the monkey sanctuary dream a reality.

The Executive Director of Green Shepherd Ghana, Emmanuel Abugbila, said the cause his NGO has been championing for some years has now been realised.

He commended citizens of Duasidan for preserving what he described as a “gold mine” and expressed the hope that the launching of the Duasidan project would be used to entrench sustainable eco-tourism practices in the area.

Mr. Abugbila announced that his NGO would build a hostel with assistance from donors, to help accommodate visitors to Duasidan.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Isaac Osei and his counterpart from the Ghana Tourist Board, Mr. Francis Tapena stressed the need for the people of Duasidan to position themselves to reap the benefits of eco-tourism.

Mr. Tapena appealed to the Dormaa District Assembly to improve the Dormaa-Duasidan road to facilitate tourism in the area.

A visit to the sanctuary revealed that the guards there have names such as as Agatha, Abrewaa, Akos, John, Maa Fia and Maame Abenaa for some of the monkeys. They said Bob and Sampson are the biggest primates at the sanctuary.

By Samuel Duodu.

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