The accident at the Kintampo Waterfalls in the Brong Ahafo Region which claimed 18 lives could have an adverse effect on the country’s tourism sector, Frank Siaw-Otu, PRO of the Ministry of Tourism, has said.
“We believe and know that it will affect us, but as a ministry and GTA, we will do our best to assure that our sites are safe,” he said on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show.
The dead, together with some 22 others who are seriously injured, were swimming at the base of the Kintampo Waterfall when a tree fell on them following an earlier rainstorm in the area. The incident is said to have happened on Sunday March 19 at about 4:30pm.
Fifteen of the deceased are from Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and three from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
But Mr Siaw-Otu maintained that tourism sites in the country were safe and “we don’t often hear about this happening at our tourist sites and it is a plus for us”.
He told the host Moro Awudu: “This (the accident) is a natural occurrence, something that happened out of the blue and it is not something we envisaged and did nothing about it.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Abelema Afeku, has expressed her condolences to relatives of those who lost their lives in Sunday’s Kintampo Falls accident.
Mrs Afeku, in the aftermath of the incident, has issued a statement, saying: “We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured who have been rushed to the Kintampo and Techiman General Hospitals.”
The Evalue Gwira MP further assured that the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) “will work closely with the Ghana Police and the Kintampo district assembly to ensure the families receive the needed support and information” while urging the media to be “circumspect” in their reportage on the matter, especially in the “sharing of images of the dead and critically injured”.