The paramount chief of the Talensi traditional area in the Upper East Region, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebgtang, has appealed to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to construct access roads to the tourist site of the Tengzug Tongo Hills and Shrines found in the Talensi District to boost tourism.
The paramount chief who is also a Member of the Council of State of the region and a former Member of Parliament for Talensi Constituency made the call during the celebration of cultural festival of the chiefs and people of the Talensi traditional area last Saturday.
The Tengzug Shrine, one of the most famous in the region, was once a hideout for slaves evading their captors. Now, it is used more traditionally for religious animal sacrifices for good luck and to please the ancestors of the Talensis. With a guide, visitors can scale the rocks up to the Tengzug Shrine, remove their tops and witness the sacrifice of birds and chickens.
According to the paramount chief, the revamping of the tourist site would not only help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the area but would also help generate employment for the people particularly the youth as well as help boost the revenue mobilisation of the assembly.
The celebration of this year’s cultural festival was unique because it brought all the different communities within the traditional area together to mark the festival at a go, instead of each community celebrating it on its own.
The durbar, on the theme, “Harnessing the social, economic and cultural heritage for the development of Talentenge,” brought together the chiefs, queen mothers, Tindaanmas and people of the traditional area as well as paramount and divisional chiefs of other traditional areas within the region and outside the region, and government officials, among others.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, stated that cultural values and beliefs were very crucial to the development of the people, and noted that government was working hard to develop the cultural heritage and tourists potentials of the country.
“I am pleased to also inform you that, as part of efforts to support and promote tourism in the region, the Department of Feeder Roads is going to improve some selected roads leading to tourists sites including Paga, Sirigu, Bongo and Tongo to make these places accessible at all time,” he added.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, TONGO