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Nzulezu Needs Expansion To Accommodate More Visitors   
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The physical structures at the stilt village of Nzulezu is currently overstretched, as the facility assumes the status of a leading tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists in the region.

Visitors to the stilt village on the Great Amanzuri River, which now enjoys potable water and electricity, have more than doubled without a corresponding increase in infrastructure to house both the visitors and the residents.

Managers of the settlement, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and Ghana Tourism Authority, say the number of people who troop to the village daily, especially on holidays and weekends, has increased from 200 people to more than 700 .

The village, which hitherto was a normal settlement for the people with a unique culture who had settled in the middle of the river, has a population of more than 600.

The situation, according to the residents and the managers, calls for the immediate expansion of the place and the reinforcement of existing structures to avert its closure to the public.

According to the acting Western Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Michael Kpingbi, as a result of the overwhelming numbers, most visitors are turned away from visiting the place.

Mr Kpingbi said it was not the wish of the GTA to stop visitors from going to the village but they could simply not contain the numbers.

Mr Kpingbi said preparation was underway to expand the village to allow more visitors to the site. This, he said, would involve improving facilities such as the visitors’ reception centre and provision of a restaurant, an inn with bed and breakfast and sanitation facilities.

He said the current situation where people arrived in the community and took photographs without prior notice was not the best.

The regional manager said the village was faced with sanitation problems and as a result, some tourists refused to drink water or eat from the community. He complained that they brought their own drinks and food but disposed of the leftovers and empty containers indiscriminately .

“It is not bad for people to bring their own stuff along but it is important that proper procedures are followed in disposing the waste and tourists must know this in order to halt the current pollution of the river,” he said.

He said the current situation required heavy investment to improve infrastructure and facilities at the village, saying “the canal is very shallow now and the ferry boats for visitors to the place have to be improved to carry more.”
Wildlife Division

Mr Jonathan Goka, an official of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, said the water level in the river Amanzuri had receded, thereby making it difficult for canoes to navigate to and from the reception centre to the main river.

The situation has resulted in the creation of an alternative route to the river instead of using the canal from the reception centre to link the river to the village.
Source: Daily Graphic

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