The Ashanti Regional office of the Lands Commission has halted the construction of a restaurant on a parcel of land at the Kumasi Zoo.
According to the commission, the managers of the Kumasi Zoological Gardens failed to follow due procedure.
The construction is part of a project that seeks to attract more tourists to the Zoo. Managers of the zoo secured GH¢190,000.00 last year to commence work on a restaurant with car park and a landscape.
The project is a joint venture by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and Benthonic Productions, an agro-chemical company.
The construction, which also began without any approval from city authorities, has attracted criticisms with many questioning why a zoo should be used for such a purpose. Ashanti Regional Lands Officer, Nana Kwapong Aboa II, explains to Ultimate Radio’s Joseph Oppong Brenya the management of the Zoo did not follow due procedure.
“The Commission had information that a portion of the Zoo area was being developed by some people. So I sent my officers to go and inspect. But they met the management of the Zoo so we asked them to stop. We gave them a stop work order. Subsequently they came to the office saying they had an agreement with an operator to do a restaurant to enhance the operations of the zoo such that visitors who come there will have their comfort”.
“So we asked for a copy of the said agreement. They brought it to me and we scrutinized it. And we were not too comfortable with it, so we asked that they should suspend every development they are undertaking so the commission decides on the issue. The matter has being referred to the Ashanti regional lands commission for registration.
Asked whether they stopped the work because they were of the opinion that the Zoo area was not appropriate for such development, he said “It’s not a question of the place not being appropriate for the restaurant. As for that, it is the development control people who will determine it”.
It must however be noted that the Kumasi Zoo has been dormant for some time now with very few animals available for public viewing.