The Kintampo waterfalls tourist site in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana has been closed down indefinitely, following Sunday’s incident that claimed the lives of 19 students.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, explained that the closure is to enable thorough security and safety checks at the site.
While calling on the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to embark on a comprehensive safety audit of all major tourist sites in the country, the Ministry also revealed that it will fastrack its request to Parliament for the passage of a Legislative Instrument that will enable the GTA to regulate and certify these tourist sites.
It further commended officials of the District Assembly, the medical staff of the Kintampo General Hospital, officials of the Police , Army, Fire Service, REGSEC and the Youth of Kintampo for their swift response to the disaster.
Ghana is in mourning after the tragic accident. The victims, mostly students were swimming during a rainstorm when the accident happened. The tree had seemingly been brought down by the heavy storm.
Emergency service personnel made up of police and fire service attended the site in a bid to release and rescue those trapped underneath the tree.
“Most of them are students . Others are tourists. We are trying to save those who are trapped by cutting the trees with chainsaws.”
It is believed that 18 of the students who attend Wenchi Senior High School have perished. The injured are being treated at the Kintampo Municipal hospital.
“We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured,” Ghana’s tourism minister Catherine Abelema Afeku said in a statement.
The Vice President of Ghana Dr Mahamudu Bawumia also expressed sadness over the accident.
According to the vice president, government will await the outcome of the investigation into the cause of the disaster and take the next line of action.
He made these remarks when he visited the victims of the incident and to mourn with the bereaved families on behalf of the president on Monday, March 20.