Okakple Nana Letsabi II, Paramount Chief and President of the Santrokofi Traditional Area in the Hohoe Municipality of
the Volta Region on Saturday launched this year's annual “Otsoona” festival
of the chiefs and people of the area in Accra with a call on the citizens resident outside to mobilize resources to develop the area.
“For, as you are aware our area has no other source of revenue like royalties, stumpage fee except its human resource which must have the
'I can do it attitude.'”
Nana Letsabi said; “For, only we the Balee citizens who can kick-start self-help development projects for the government and Non-Government Organisations to come to our aid.”
The theme for the festival is “Culture: a tool for uniting people for Development and Progress”.
He said hitherto the festival has been associated with rituals such
as marking of the end of the passing year and the beginning of the new year, commencement of sowing new rice (upland rice) and the harvesting of yam and period for out-dooring young women who have gone through puberty rites
(Osiesa) into womanhood for marriage.
However, Nana Letsabi said now the festival is organized around Easter period and is used to mobilize the communities to raise funds for the support
of development projects.
He said the festival would be celebrated in June, this year, and is
geared towards mobilizing funds to support development projects such as the construction of traditional council offices, rehabilitation of a school block
in each of the three principal towns, development of strategies towards the improvement of teaching and learning in basic schools and establishment of Rev Father Apietu Memorial Vocational Institute to offer basic employable skills to the youth.
The guest speaker, Mr Prince Jacob Hayibor, Member of Parliament for Hohoe North said festivals are very important and should be used to showcase the culture of an area and also urged the youth to visit their towns regularly to learn about their culture so that it would not die.
He said government alone cannot provide development needs for the people and advised the citizens to play their part, adding that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has just taken office and appealed to the people to exercise restraint for the party to turn things around.
He expressed his appreciation to the people of Santrokofi for voting for him and the NDC party.
Mr Hayibor promised to provide the three major towns in Santrokofi three sets of jerseys, six footballs and a cup to be competed for during the festival.