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Elmina Castle Under Threat   
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It is regarded as one of the major tourist destinations in Ghana that tells the story of human slavery, and the Trans- Atlantic Slave trade, which attracts thousands of people every year; but  the beauty and glamour that surrounds the Elmina Castle is losing it value due to the filth  and the stench from human excreta littered at site.

Walking around the Elmina Castle makes one question the value Ghanaians attach to state assets as one can clearly see open display of human excreta at various stages of decomposition. These human wastes come in various types with different colors, shapes and sizes.

On daily basis, people are seen openly defecation on the edge of the castle in between the rocks and the narrow Sandy beach.

The Stench emanating from this human waste is too hot to contain. The head of Governance at the German international Cooperation (GIZ) in Ghana, Allan Larsey, who led a team of professionals selected from African including this reporter to the site on 11th September 2016, could not hide his feelings and disappointment about how the place has been left to deteriorate.

“It looks like nobody cares about the poor management of the facility”. This is sad for mother Ghana”,  he stated.

John Odyke, a Journalist from Uganda who was part of the team  for the site visit  could not understand why  such a huge and attractive  edifice that could generate millions of dollars to the state  being taken good care of and has been left to deteriorate.

The Problem with Ghana is that you have all the resources, both natural and human. You also have the infrastructure but sanitation is very poor. It seems the laws on sanitation do not work in Ghana unlike Rwanda where the law on sanitation is really strict .Sam Ryumugabe, a participant from Rwanda noted in an interview. 

An official of the Ghana National Museum and Monuments Board, Robert Kugbe,  who  serves as a tour guide at the castle also expressed disappointment at the turn of events. According to him several attempts by officials at the board to expel these recalcitrant nation wreckers who visit the edge of the castle to defecate has failed due to lack of support from the municipal assembly and the local government. we clean these area everyday  but these people come here every day to defecate. As you can see there are no toilet facilities around so they use the beaches as the main area of convenience. . Where the toilet facilities are available, they say they can’t afford due to poverty so they come here to defecate openly. It is sad but there is little we can do” he stated.


 Elmina Castle is a white-washed Medieval Castle on the coast of Ghana. It was the first – and for many centuries – the largest, European building constructed in tropical Africa. Yet its grandeur, as well as its picturesque surroundings with blue skies, sandy beaches, and tropical palms, disguises a dark history – Elmina Castle was the last place that thousands of African slaves would ever see of their homeland. Many horrors transpired within the walls of the fortress, which have never been erased by time.



Located on the western coast of present-day Ghana (the former gold coast), the town of Elmina is about 13 km (8 miles) from the city of Cape Coast. A region rich in gold and ivory resources, the area was home to 30 or so “slave forts” concentrated along the coast, and was the first European slave-trading post in sub-Saharan Africa.  These fortified castles were built between 1482 and 1786 by numerous traders including the Portuguese, Swedish, English, Danish, and Dutch.

Between 1482 and 1486, the Portuguese constructed what became known as Elmina Castle, also called St George’s Castle. One of the main purposes of Elmina Castle was to give support to ship captains by providing their vessels with a secure harbor.

The outposts were heavily armed against assault from the sea, but interestingly, not so much from attacks inland. An assault from other European empires, including pirates, was deemed more likely than those by local Africans. To fend off such attacks from the sea, cannons were used, whereas light gunfire was usually enough to counter an assault from the interior.


It is said that European explorers who heard of the riches of West Africa through traders traveling through the area made several unsuccessful voyages to reach Elmina.  They were either unable to pass through the sandy bars or were so scared of malaria that they did not land. However, not put off by the dangers, Portuguese explorer Diogo de Azambuja made it to the West African coast in 1471, and landed at a spot named “La-Mine”. It was he who would later build Elmina Castle.



Although it was originally erected to protect the gold trade, following its capture by the Dutch in 1637, Elmina Castle came to serve the Dutch slave trade with Brazil and the Caribbean. The castle later developed as a point on the infamous slave triangle transporting human cargo to America and the Caribbean, as well as raw materials, such as cotton and rubber, to Britain, and manufactured goods, such as clothing and weaponry, back to the West Coast of Africa.


Under the auspices of the Dutch West Indies Company, around 30,000 slaves a year passed through Elmina until 1814 when the Dutch slave trade was abolished. Gradually , this nice piece of historical edifice has been left to waste  and its losing its value, Kwabena Adu Koranteng , reporting from the Elmina Castle .Central region of Ghana
Source: New Crusading Guide

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