Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has unveiled a plaque and cut a tape to signify the re-opening of the rehabilitated Kintampo Waterfalls in the Kintampo North Municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region.
The rehabilitation works estimated at GHC500, 000.00 and funded by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is the first phase of the waterfalls re-development project being undertaken by the GTA with support of the Kintampo North Municipal Assembly (KNMA).
The waterfalls were closed down by a joint decision on Monday, March 20, 2017 when Dr. Bawumia accompanied by officials of the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Regional Security Council and the Kintampo North Municipal Security Council due to a natural disaster that occured the previous day.
That tragic incident caused by falling trees from strong winds and rainstorms at the first stage of the waterfalls resulted in the disastrous deaths of 18 students who had visited the place.
Majority of them were from the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and the rest from the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani.
Addressing a grand durbar organised by the GTA to mark the occasion, Dr. Bawumia recalled his immediate visit to the site on behalf of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the entire Ghanaian populace and his resolve to get the facility back to business.
He praised the officers and personnel of the GTA, the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, the KNMA, the chiefs and people of Kintampo for their diverse but dedicated roles in rehabilitating the facility.
Impressed by the quality of job done and the new-look of the facility, the Vice President stressed the unity of purpose as well as dedication and commitment of approach towards the task of rehabilitation by the stakeholders implied that if united, greater things could be done for the rapid socio-economic development of the country.
Dr Bawumia described the waterfalls as a unique asset which was a natural and wonderful gift of nature for not only the chiefs and people of Kintampo, but all Ghanaians and therefore called for its efficient management for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.
The Vice-President said there would a memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed by Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the GTA, the Municipal Assembly and the chiefs on behalf of the people for its proper management and judicious use of proceeds.
Dr Bawumia stated the MoU to be known as the ‘New Kintampo Partnership Model’ could be a yardstick that other communities could use to partner government for their socio-economic development.
He assured of government’s unflinching commitment to provide the necessary resources through the Tourism Ministry and the GTA for the facility to be well-developed to provide the required quality services to meet the demands of local and international prospective tourists to generate the expected revenue.
The rehabilitated facility has two gates, the outer and inner but while the former is an entrance for vehicles to pay tolls, the latter is designed for visitors also to pay fees before entry to the actual scene of the waterfalls.
Other facilities, either renovated or newly-constructed are three shops – one for the retail of daily provisions like confectioneries, biscuits, bread and other ready-prepared edibles that could be consumed as and when a consumer wants, as well as a souvenir and gifts shop and an artifacts shop.
Just by the inner entrance is an infirmary, then a receptive area consisting of a museum, washrooms and a restaurant, in addition to a reception centre where information about the waterfalls would be shown on a video before a tour guide leads a tourist(s) to the three stages of the waterfalls.
The facility also has wide, spacious grounds designed with pavilions for multi-purpose events such as band stands and picnics and summer huts for families’ gatherings.
The waterfalls has an entry and an exit concrete-made staircases with metal-made protective barriers on their sides, and the former, the old one but rehabilitated with 152 steps while the latter, a newly-constructed one, is 173 steps from the upland to the base.
There is also newly-built changing rooms on the base of the first stage of the waterfalls.