The annual Ecotourism Initiative festival has been marked by residents of Vodza in the Keta Municipality of the Volta region with the aim of promoting ecotourism and culture in the area.
The initiative represents the dream that had existed since the reclamation of the land from the sea (Atlantic Ocean) and the dredging of the Keta Lagoon in the 1990s with the hope of transforming the ecological and cultural resources into iconic tourism destination with conservation of biodiversity of present and future generations.
Mr Joshua Kaleawo Agbezudor, Chairman of the occasion, in an interview, disclosed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the festival was also aimed at reuniting families and friends for the required bonding, relationship and development of the area.
“This year’s celebration was the second edition, which helped in keeping and promoting the rich cultural values of Vodza,” he said.
Mr Agbezudor, who is also the ‘Eƒufia’ (Chief Fisherman) of Vodza further expressed joy over the high patronage by people who traveled from far and near to join in the celebrations.
He called on individuals, philanthropists, and corporate organisations to support them for a bigger festival in the future.
Audrey Gadzekpo, Professor at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, who is also a native of Vodza, told the GNA that residents contributed for the organisation of the festival.
“Our idea is to help promote our cultural ecosystem and tourism potential in our area to the world. We have tourism sites such as Atorkor slave market, Ʋenya Vudo, Woe Light House, Fort Prinzenstein, the Lagoon, and the Sea, among others that attracts people during occasions, which need to be promoted,” she added.
Some residents the GNA interacted with expressed excitement and commended the organisers for their effort in bringing development to the area.
The festival also saw residents competing in some sporting disciplines such as regatta, swimming, boat racing and food bazaar, which displayed various indigenous dishes of the area.
There were also a display of rich traditional culture through drumming and dancing.