The Forestry Commission in Anloga has partnered with the Royal Kukubor Family of Vodza to restore the Bird Sanctuary at Vodza, in the Keta Municipality.
The planting exercise, which took place on 9th May 2022, was led by the Royal Kukubor Family of Vodza, the custodians of the land.
Mr. Lawrence Ocloo Tetteh, the Municipal Director of Wildlife pledged the Department’s support in greening the community with supplies of avenue trees to the Kukubor Family, which is leading the restoration effort.
Portions of the Bird sanctuary were affected by toxic weedicides used to kill plant life and subsequent burning to prepare the island for use by Vodza Eco Tourism Initiative, organisers of the Regatta.
According to the Royal Kukubor Family, the destruction did not only affect plant life but also destroyed the nesting place of the birds and their eggs.
Although the extent of chemical damage to the island and its habitats was yet to be assessed, the restoration team chanced on hundreds of eggs and nests of the migratory birds that were destroyed by the chemicals and fire on the island.
Days before the regatta, a horde of dead fish was washed ashore and were collected by some members of the community for consumption. It was suspected that the fish died as a result of poisoning from the chemicals administered in killing the plants at the sanctuary.
The Regent Togbi Anani Gbadza Kukubor of Vodza, noted that “the islands hold huge potentials for eco-tourism and revenue for the local economy of the Keta Municipality” and expressed regret at the damage to the area saying, “the destruction within the Keta Lagoon Ramsar site also posed a threat to the delicate ecology and the health of its inhabitants”.
He, therefore, appealed to the authorities responsible for the protection and preservation of these islands to act with immediate effect to restore the sanctity of the place and prevent any further encroachments.
He pledged to employ the needed machinery in partnership with the authorities in ensuring that the islands were CONSERVED for their intended purpose.