Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Gregory Andrews has handed over field equipment to the Mole National Park in the Savannah Region which is Ghana’s first, largest and most prestigious protected area.
The equipment donated through Australian Aid included high powered capacity long-range drone, 20 GPS equipment, 30 camera traps, two desktop computers with rechargeable batteries, a photocopier machine, books and some personal protective equipment.
The High Commissioner also cut the sod for the construction of two Summer huts at the forecourt of the information center which will fully be funded by him.
The support to the Park and the Rangers especially, has come as no surprise as the High Commissioner during his visit to the Park in October last year promised to return after showing appreciation to the work by the Rangers which he described as dangerous.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony of the equipment, Mr Andrews said, the equipment would help the work of the park to go on smoothly and very effectively.
He said it would be easy to get videos and pictures of the animals and also help in trapping poaching activities in the park.
He added that, the GPS equipment would also help the rangers find their way anytime they get lost in the reserve.
The High Commissioner commended the staff and workers of the Park for their hard work, expressing the hope to see much improvement in their work following the donation of the equipment.
The Manager of the Mole National Park, Mr Ali Mahama, expressed his satisfaction for the kind gesture done by the Australian High Commission which he said is a sign of good relationship between the Government of Ghana and that of Australia.
He described the donation as very timely to deal with the poaching activities in the Park.
The Executive Director of the Wildlife Division, Ghana, Mr Bernard Asamoah Boateng in his address said, Ghana has seven national parks, six resource reserves, two sanctuaries etc which are under the care of the wildlife division with the Mole National Park being the premier and largest after its establishment in 1958 and gazzeted as a national park in 1971 with a size of 4,840km square and is in a process of being listed as UNESCO Global World Heritage Site.
He said the Park has tried to protect its integrity through the support of donor agencies which has been successful and therefore used the opportunity to thank the High Commissioner and the people of Australia for their support.
Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer for the Forestry Commission who also addressed the gathering during the handing over ceremony said, everything with wildlife in Ghana takes place in the Mole National Park since everything is referred there when it has to do with Wildlife.
He said, due to Covid-19 pandemic, the number of tourists in the Park has gone down and appealed to donor agencies to help brand the Park to increase the number of visiting tourists.
He thanked the High Commissioner for his support and also used the opportunity to appeal to him to strengthen the relationship between Australia and Ghana through the development of a sister city relationship that is focused on ecotourism.
He added that, the equipment received would go a long way to help, especially in data collection and also in getting more information with the nocturnal species in the Park.
Savannah Regional Minister, Mr Saeed Jibril Muhazu was also happy with the support.
He said, the importance of the Park can never be underrated since apart from tourism, it also serves as a source of employment in the region.
He also used the opportunity to appeal for more support from donor agencies especially in the area of housing for the rangers and assured of government full support in the development of the park.
High-tech remote cameras already making impact?
Mr Andrews yesterday tweeted to indicate the discovery of a new animal in the Park, which was made possible by high-tech remote cameras supplied through Australian Aid to the Mole National Park.
He said in his tweet “This is exciting! Look closely. Rangers at @MolePark are already finding new animals with the high-tech remote cameras supplied from Australia. This morning they sent me this photo of what appears to be an albino Duiker. But it could also be a new species. Science will tell”.