Kintampo Waterfalls rainstorm disaster “an act of God” – Report

Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture

The Safety Audit team assessing the Kintampo  Waterfalls after the accident that claimed 18 lives in March 2017, has concluded that a poor supervision and a dereliction of public safety responsibilities, among others, contributed to the tragedy.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku, noted that, the “report concluded that although this was an act of God, a number of remote and immediate causes were identified as being instrumental to the accident, and the response following the disaster.”

These causes included “the lack of focus on public safety responsibilities, a lack of adequate training and supervision of personnel, poor environmental management factors and impact of encroachers, which has exposed the soil to major erosion and made trees weak and vulnerable,” the Minister revealed.

Thus, the audit team recommended

• An immediate afforestation exercise to improve the diversity of the flora

• Activities to check erosion

Rescue team at the Kintampo waterfalls accident

• A review of the management structures

• Recruitment and training enhancements

• The introduction of clearly defined public safety management measures and emergency preparedness and coordination

• The removal of loose rocks and those in potentially precarious positions at various stages of the Falls

• The creation of Separate entries and exits to different stages, especially Stage Three of the Falls

• The re-engineering of the staircase

• The re-engineering of the entrance from the main Techiman-Tamale Highway amongst others

• Suggestions to incorporate “museum, rebuilding a replica of Kwame Nkrumah’s lodge, the addition of a canopy walkway, campsite, hotels and cafeteria amongst others.
• NPP’s invisible forces not complicit

Meanwhile, Mrs. Afeku also exonerated the Pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) group, Invisible Forces, who are alleged to have evicted all tour guides after the party came into office before the accident occurred.

But the Minister stated on the Floor of Parliament that the Municipal Assembly was firmly in control of the facility contrary to reports made by persons like the Chief of Kyeremankoma.

Other tourist sites under scrutiny

Meanwhile, a safety audit is also ongoing at Fuller Falls near Kintampo, Kakum National Park in the Central Region, Wli Falls in the Volta Region, Nzulezu in the Western Region, Bunsu Aboretem in the Eastern Region and Boti Waterfalls in the Eastern Region.