February 8, 2019
Almost two years, after the unfortunate Kintampo Water Falls disaster that claimed at least 20 lives in March 2017, Parliament has finally adopted its select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism report that investigated the incident.

The Committee was tasked to ascertain the cause of the disaster, preventive measures to avert same in future and lessons learnt from it to promote tourism in Ghana.

Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Ato Panford who presented the report enumerated some of the causes of the tragedy.

He indicated that activities of encroachers along the tributaries of the Waterfall, including clearing their land for farming activities set fire which destroys the vegetation cover along the water body.

The Committee observed with dissatisfaction the absence of a Sub-Meteorology Office at the time of the incident which could have informed revelers about changes in the weather at the facility.

He also disclosed there was no emergency preparedness team on site to respond to emergency situations observing that “most lives could have been saved if an emergency preparedness team was in place.

On structural defect, Ato Panford, the MP for Shaman said that “at the time of the accident, there was only one staircase for both exit and entry to the waterfalls” he said adding that “the staircase which was already too steep and narrow had become slippery as a result of the rain.”

On preventive measures to control bush fires and tree management, the Committee recommended that a fence wall was erected to serve as a boundary to restrict the movement of unwanted persons into the perimeters of the waterfall.

It among others wants a fire belt, by way of fire resistant plants planted around the facility, routine checks on trees, education and legislation to act as a deterrent to persons engaging in farming activities that leads to bush fires in the waterfalls area and its environs.

The Committee recommended that the Ghana Tourism Authority engaged the services of Safety Health and Environmental Officers to brief revelers on safety issues and provide the necessary safety tips before the commencement of a tour of the facility.

Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com