Towards the sustainable development of eco tourist sites in Ghana- a case study of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary

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This thesis examines how the development of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary as an ecotourist resource can be carried out on sustainable basis. In pursuing the research, the key objectives were to: to obtain information on the major stakeholders directly involved in the management of the sanctuary and their respective roles, to identify the factors responsible for the low patronage of the sanctuary, to identify the facilities and activities to be put in place to attract more visitors to the site, to identify the threats to the site as a result of the proposed development activities and find out on how the community can be made to participate more in the management of the sanctuary. The methodology for the study involved the use of primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected through questionnaires and an interview guide, while analytical methods used included the use of simple descriptive statistics. Three institutions namely the Hohoe District Assembly, the Wildlife Division’s office in Wli and the Wli community were identified as the major stakeholders directly involved in the management of the sanctuary and their respective roles were also enumerated. Other institutions also identified as having a stake in the tourism industry, among others, were the Ghana Tourist Board, Environmental Protection Agency and Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council. The major factors identified as militating against the development of tourism in WIi were: • Lack of hotel and restaurant facilities • Inadequate information on the sanctuary • Dusty road from Hohoe to Wli • Lack of telephone and potable water • Absence of a health post and a police station Some environmental threats to the sanctuary as a result of the proposals to develop ecotourism were also identified. The status of community participation in the management of the sanctuary was also reviewed with the objective of making proposals to improve upon the current state of management. The following factors were identified as militating against community participation in the sustainable management of the sanctuary: • Lack of enforceable legislations • Lack of incentives • Land tenure system • Conflicts • Inadequate management skills Recommendations as to what needs to be done were also proposed and phased. These are: SHORT TERM (2003-2005) • Training of tour guides • Development and implementation of code of conduct for tourists • Afforestation of degraded lands around the sanctuary • Educational programmes for the community • Training programmes for prospective proprietors of hotels and restaurants • Improvement on the trail to the fall site • Preparation and submission of Environmental Impact Statement • Collaboration of stakeholders in the tourism industry MEDIUM TERM (2006-2009) • Tarring of road from Hohoe to WIi • Provision of telephone facilities and potable water • Development and implementation of development schemes • Development of a craft village • LONG TERM (2010-2015) • International collaboration Establishment of a health post and a Police Station • Integrated tourism package • Preparation of guidelines for the tourism industry in Ghana AREAS OF FURTHER RESEARCH • Documentation of biodiversity in the sanctuary • Review of the entrance fee to the sanctuary Although the above recommendations may not be exhaustive, it is possible that they will contribute significantly towards the sustainable development of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary. The concluding remarks were that: • The major stakeholders in the management of the site were delivering below expectation • The social and economic benefits of tourism to the community were on trio low side • Envisaged threats to the sanctuary as a result of tourism development can be mitigated • The beliefs of the community has contributed to the conservation of the sanctuary • The location of the sanctuary along the Ghana Togo boundary calls for the cooperation of both countries in the management of the resource and • Hotel and restaurant facilities are the most needed facilities to boost tourism.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy/Material Science and Engineering, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Management, 2002