White Volta Rapids - Roaring river with magnificent features
At the north of Gambaga in the East Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region lies the White Volta River Rapids.
It is funnelled through a rocky outcropping, where its roar can be heard from afar.
The White Volta River is the primary source of Lake Volta, Ghana’s massive man-made lake in the south of the country.
Located at Achenga, it is joined by the Red Volta River in the North East Region near Bongbini and by the Black Volta River in the Savannah Region.
The rapids are an incredible force of nature. For thousands of years, the river has carved its way through the rocks at this site.
Tourists hike from the rocks to explore the holes, pits and crevices created from the powerful forces of erosion. In some places, the rock is polished so smooth it is shiny and slick.
Also, on the river’s southern bank near the rapids is the small fishing settlement of Achenga.
For a few cedis, tourists can hire a fisherman to take them out in a canoe downstream of the rapids to enjoy the river.
An opinion leader at Achenga, Salifu Abudu, told the Daily Graphic that averagely about 20 tourists visit the site every month to have a feel of nature.
"It has also contributed significantly to boost the local economy, because anytime both local and foreign guests visit the area, they patronise some fish from the local settlers.
“The area is a predominant fishing community so that means a lot to the local folks," he said.
He indicated that since the site was not developed all guests who visited did not pay any fee, apart from a token they gave to canoe operators for a ride.
Aside from the tourism potential, Mr Abudu indicated that the rapids were also preserved as a sacred site by their ancestors, which was still the case today.
Given the potential it holds to boost local tourism, he appealed to authorities to turn their attention to the site and develop it to help open up the area.
A Local Tourist Guide, Alhassan Hudu, told the Daily Graphic that the site was discovered centuries ago but had still not been developed.
In spite of its current state, he said a number of both local and foreign tourists had been visiting the site to have a feel of nature.
In a recent interview, the North East Regional Minister, Yidana Zakaria, indicated that the government, though the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, had begun the processes to develop all major tourists’ sites in the region.
The move, he said, would help create jobs for the people and attract high tourist traffic to the area and the country at large.
He, however, called on investors to consider investing in the area to boost tourism and open up the area.