Nzulezu - The Alantis Of Ghana?
NZULEZU (THE STILT VILLAGE)
Nzulezu overlooks the lake Tadane and it is entirely made up of stilt and platforms. The name ‘’Nzulezu’’ means water surface in the Nzema language. The village was built by a group of people from Oualata, a city of the ancient Ghana Empire and in present-day Mauritanian. Thursday is sacred to the lake and it is forbidden to use and work on the lake for any activity throughout the day. In 2000, it was nominated as a UNESCO world tourist site and it is a major tourist site in the area.
Nzulezu or the silt village is one of the most visited tourist sites in Ghana and the Western Region at large. One can say that curiosity is what makes people visit Nzulezu. That being said, I have myself wondered a lot about how the houses are not sinking and how they live on the silt. With all these unanswered questions in mind, I knew it would not be long before I visit.
Upon arrival at their office, we were assigned a tour guide and a canoe driver with our jackets to secure us in the event of a submerged. Our journey began with a drive on a fabricated lagoon through into the river. I liked the feel of a one-on-one tour as I have never been a fan of a group tour.
It is worth mentioning that we went during the wet season if not we would have had to take a walking route which could be over an hour depending on how fast you walk.
As we joined the river, we saw a lot of privately owned canoes with residents in it returning from their farmlands or town. Over there, the canoes are their source of transportation and a family can own a maximum of 5 or 3 i.e. 1 for the father, another mother, and then the children.
Their main occupation is farming and fishing. As customary demands, we were led to the village centre to meet the community leader, who was to give us a brief history of the place, and then allow us to tour the place. The leader put before us their challengers being:
- Need for a health centre and a health service personnel
- Classroom materials.
I will urge philanthropists to extend a helping hand to the community.
From the welcome address, we made our way to their school building made of raffia. Like any other community, they have a recreation centre, a church, convenience shops and a counter pharmacy.
As we strolled through the streets, I noticed how structured they were and asked our tour guide about it. According to the tour guide when a member gets married, they build their house across their parent’s house which means the streets are according to families.
For an administrative fee of 30 cedis per head, you get to tour THE SILT VILLAGE and learn about their migration and the mystery behind their silt village.
For food, you can buy it in town or visit Maaha Beach Resort. Also, there is a souvenir shop in the village for you to buy from as I did. The tour is set for an hour and a half. You can interact with the settlers and take pictures of them if they permit you to. Otherwise, you can walk through the streets and enjoy the breeze.
There is a lodge in the village for persons who want to have a better feel of the place, residents are very hospitable and so are the children.
It was a worthwhile experience and I entreat you to visit regardless of the long drive hours.