“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa has said.
Late last year, the Lifestylebyrna team visited some beautiful tourist attractions in the Western Region of Ghana. The most cherished tourist site in the Western Region, Nzulezu which is well known as the village on water was no exception from our pick out travelling destination.
So, after touring the Takoradi Airport, the team decided it was time to visit the Nzulezu stilt village. We went to Takoradi station to board a car to the place. It took us 4 hours to journey on the bad road to our destination.
Nzulezu is a village located near the village of Beyin, 90 kilometres west of Takoradi, in the Jomoro District in the Western Region of Ghana.
Nzulezu overlooks Lake Tadane, and is entirely made up of stilts and platforms. In 2000, it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction area.
The name “Nzulezo” in the Nzema language means “water surface”. It is a village on stilts of “Ewuture” origin situated close to the northwest shore. The “Ewuture” maintained the waterways and transportation of goods and people.
According to local legend, the village was built by a group of people from Oualata, a city in the ancient Ghana Empire and in present-day Mauritania, which came about from following a snail. The snail is, therefore, a totem and revered by the people of Nzulezo.
The Nzulezu Community receives more than 1000 visitors annually and, thereby, contributes immensely to the Gross Domestic Product of the country whilst growing the local economy and opening up the area to some diverse cultures.
Meanwhile, no one seems to care about how children in the village survive with their parents. During the tour of the place, we realised that the school in the community was in poor condition making it unattractive for the children to attend school.
Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has distorted the world’s education system, the children from the Nzulezu community are still deprived from catching up with their studies.
In addition, the only river at the village is what they bath in, fetch some of the water to prepare meals and also, they use that same water to wash their clothes.
This is unhygienic and unsafe for the people but since that is their only source of water, they rely solely on it. Despite the marginalisation, these people continue to go about their regular routine that keeps them going as a community.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” according to Martin Luther King, so that’s why this article was written in order for the government or any NGO to come to the rescue of the people at the village on water.
In recent times the village has been opened to tourism, but with certain constraints (tourists are allowed only once a week).
The village can be reached only by canoe; the route, which crosses the rainforest, takes about an hour to 5 km away. In the village, there is a church and a school.
As the village is extremely isolated, Nzulezo suffers from numerous health problems, including the vast spread of malaria.
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