Ekiti Monarch Appeals For Development Of Arinta Waterfalls

By Abiose Adelaja Adams

A monarch in Ekiti State has called on the government to develop the untapped tourism potentials in the state to boost internally generated revenue and economic development.

The traditional ruler, Babatola Oladele, the Olupole of Ipole Iloro, a town of about 15,000 people which is home to one of Nigeria’s enchanting waterfalls, said that government is cheating itself and the indigenes of billions of naira which can be earned from tourism, had the Waterfall in the community being developed.

According to him, the community charges a meagre sum of N100 per adult and N50 per student to see the nerve calming cascade of the Arinta Waterfall.

“We usually get a lot of visitors during the weekends, and during festive periods,” he said but lamented that “patronage is low because the government is not putting adequate infrastructure in place.”

Oladele listed a number of things that need to be put in place to make the waterfall attractive including hotels, chalets, restaurants, also outdoor games arena, amusement parks, mini shopping malls and relaxation spots.

As magnificent as this waterfall is, a visitor might risk a fall on the journey to its actual site which is some three kilometres from the main entrance that bears a rusty, faded signpost. There are no safety measures or healthcare facility in place in the event of a visitor falling and sustaining injury, something that is quite possible given the uneven, rocky landscape of the forest where the waterfall is situation. The steps of the tour guide has to be carefully followed as he hops from one piece of rock to another on the floor, and this continues for the five minute walk through the thick rain forest.

“On the average we make about N50,000 in a month, which goes straight to the State government’s purse. The only money they pay is N100 for entry, but if we have all these structures in place more people will come, they will buy food. We have plenty bush meat here to offer them, so we can make millions for the state,” the monarch said.

Six kilometres away from this village is the Ikogosi Warm Spring where hot and cold water ooze out of the same rock, following different channels, with each maintaining its thermal identity.

“The government only pays attention to Ikogosi, but this place has been totally neglected,” Oba Oladele lamented.




     

     

    Evidently, human traffic to this village is minimal. For a waterfall of this significance, one would expect a large billboard welcoming visitors and announcing its presence, but there is none.

    The economic profile of the indigenes spells poverty as most rely on subsistence farming and hunting as a means of livelihood. But the people go about their day to day activities oblivious of the economic potential of the waterfall in their backyard.

    According to the Ekiti State website, corruption in tourism sector was rife until the administration of Kayode Fayemi who made a capital vote of N146million in the 2011 budget for tourism development.

    This has, however, gone largely to the overhaul of Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort which attracts dozens of holidaymakers, couples on honey-moon, students on excursion, religious groups as well as international tourists.

     

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