Kintampo is a multi-ethnic town in the Bono East region of Ghana. It’s popularity is mainly gained from it’s location, being the Center of Ghana. Not only does it’s location make her popular but also comes with several advantages of economic benefits.
Buses from the length and breath of the country transit in Kintampo. It suffice to say individuals run businesses at such bus stops sometimes for 24 hours.
Individuals who grew up in Kintampo said it was hard to find a kid who didn’t for once gathered mangoes for sale. It is believed that during the colonial period, the whites who settled in Kintampo realised the land was exceptionally good for mango plantation and planted a few. Most farmlands share boundaries with mango plantations belonging to our forefathers. Many market women sell mangoes in large quantities, exporting them to the cities for lucrative profits.
Simply put, before the pandemic, Kintampo was a multi-purposed town with several economic activities bringing huge earnings to the Municipal Assembly through taxes and levies from market women and hawkers at the bus terminals.
Covid-19 have been brutish and merciless on every aspect of our lives not sparing the various sectors of the economy. The tourism industry have not been spared of it’s brute leaving the once buoyant industry now on its knees.
The Kintampo Waterfalls an eco-tourist site is unsurprisingly suffocating from the hands of this pandemic and need a ventilator in other to survive.
The Falls has been forced to halt operations due the ban on Social gathering directives by the Government. The once attractive tourist site which received not less than 200 tourists per day is a ghost town and now in the mercies of when this pandemic would be over.
The Kintampo waterfalls has seen massive facelift post the disaster that claimed several lives some three years ago. The falls can boast of being the highest WaterFalls with a canopy walkway in the country. Before the pandemic, construction of a Zip line across the WaterFalls was underway which when completed would add to the beauty and splendor of the Falls making it the number one stop shop for tourists.
The arrival of Covid-19 and it’s impact on the activities and for that matter the revenues of the Falls have been damning, leaving the Municipal Assembly, Ghana Tourist Authority and the chiefs, the stakeholders of the waterfalls in limbo.
Speaking to the site manager of the Falls via telephone, Mr Bismark Baiden echoed the rough patch the Falls is facing. He said “The impact of the Covid-19 on our activities have been felt to the bone. The Falls which received not less than 2000 tourists per month have been forced to halt operations because of the directives on social gathering. He stated further that “with the Ramadan set to come to an end, the waterfalls was the place of preferred destination for our Muslim brothers and sisters. Several activities which were lined up to entertain tourists during the Eid have been forced to cancel because of the pandemic which has brought huge debts on the management of the waterfalls.”
As to when this pandemic would be over still remain a mystery and with no breakthrough in a vaccine anytime soon, the warning by WHO that this virus is anticipated to stay with mankind for a few years, the economic impact on the activities of the waterfalls and for that matter tourism would be gravely affected.
Artists who sell their paintings and other accessories at the falls and food vendors have been forced out of business due to the halt in business of the Falls, starving them of their daily bread thereby exposing them to harsh living conditions. Operators of Shuttle services have had their share of the situation.
However, although operations at the Falls is at a halt as a result of the ban on Social gathering, it is refreshing to know that the staff of the Falls led by the site manager, Mr Bismark Baiden are at post every single day of the week to keep the site in proper sanitary condition in anticipation of the lifting of ban on social gathering directives by the government.
As days, weeks and months go by without any breakthrough in a vaccine and Ghana still unable to flatten the curve in the cases of the Covid-19 infection, the worst is projected to come for the tourist industry and the Kintampo waterfalls have to endure the brute force of the novel Corona Virus.