Nzulezo (W/R), May 15, GNA - Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (rtd), the Deputy Minister of the Interior, has inaugurated a 200 million cedis' visitors reception centre built by the Amansuri Conservation Integrated and Development (ACID) project at Old Nzulezo, a village on stilts on the River Amansuri.
Speaking at the function, he urged the people of the community to contribute to turn the area into a cultural village. Capt Effah-Dartey said it is the inhabitants of the village themselves who have to take the lead to exploit the tourism potential of the area and turn it into economic advantage.
He said the people should devise strategies to market the area as a major tourist attraction. Capt Effah-Dartey asked them to form cultural groups to project the rich culture of the village to visitors. Later, he presented 10 solar bulbs valued at 40 million cedis to the community.
Mr James Parker Mckesum, project manager of ACID, said 19,091 tourists visited the village last year, yielding total revenue of 324,000,000 cedis.
He said about 500 people were visiting the village annually before the commencement of ACID and the construction of the reception centre. Mr Mckesum said some of the communities around the village have used their income from tourism to undertake street- light, day care centres and community centres.
He said the Ghana Wildlife Society initiated the ACID project in 1997 to conserve and manage the Amansuri wetlands in the Eastern and Western Nzema Traditional areas and in the Nzema East and Jomoro districts. Nana Takrikah, Chief of Old Nzulezo, thanked Captain Effah-Dartey for donating the solar bulbs to the community and promised to support the ACID project.