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25.02.2006 General News

Protect and invest in tourist sites

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Wa, Feb. 25, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister for Tourism and the Modernization of the Capital City on Saturday appealed to the people of the Upper West Region to invest in the tourism industry to attract tourists and reap financial benefits.

He said agriculture, which remained the backbone of the people over the years was no longer reliable due mainly to the erratic rainfall pattern and the poor soil due to over cultivation.

"You can make extra money through the smock industry, building of decent guest houses and by investing in the existing tourist sites to attract more visitors into the region." Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said these when he held discussions with various gates of the Wa Paramountcy, as part of his two-day official visit to the Upper West Region. He also appealed to various groups in the Wa Paramountcy to eschew land and chieftaincy disputes, but rather expend their energies towards the acquisition of peace, unity and development in order to repel poverty in the area.

The Minister said government had received some funding from United Nations Educational and Social Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to rehabilitate and restore some historical tourist attractions through out the country.

He said the Nakori Mosque had already been renovated with a guesthouse in the Wa Municipal, while the Wa Naa's palace and the Gwollu Slave Wall were also given on contract.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey appealed to all the royal gates of the Wa Paramountcy to cooperate with the contractors to bring back the edifice to its status, as a major tourist site in the municipality. The Minister later visited Gwollu, where he interacted with workers of the Gwollu Bonesetter Clinic and party members. He would also visit the Wechiau Hippopotamous sanctuary in the Wa West District among other tourist centres in the region. Mr Abudu Babia, leader of the bonesetters in the clinic appealed to him to help provide water to the centre, since most of their activities depended on water.

He also appealed to the Ministry of Health to consider providing them with First Aid materials, so that they could do more effective treatment