The Shai Hills is located in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. It is a one hour journey from Accra and located on the main road between Accra and the Volta Region. It is advisable to go with a bottle of water, wear strong walking shoes and shorts to aid your trip in the forest.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIODIVERSITY
The reserve consists of beautiful attractive range of rocky hills set in the middle of expansive open and wooded grassland plains. It is about fifty-one square metres . The rock is visible in many places along the hills as impressive and steep cliffs and large and attractive rocky outcrops.
Our fore fathers didn’t need to be taught the essence of conservation. This can be seen through the existence of sacred groves that were dedicated to a local deity and still exist to this day. These groves can be considered the ancient equivalent of natural sanctuaries where all forms of living creatures are given protection.
A fine example is the Pokuase Gua koo grove located along the outskirt of the town and about 30 minutes drive from Accra. The North is boarded by the ACP road , the south by residences, the east by the Amasaman- Nsawam road and the east by undeveloped land cleared for development. The groove is the home to several medicinal plants and also a source of drinking water. The local Ga tribe use the grove to manufacture of hoes and cutlasses by the blacksmith god.
Hipsters of Nature went on trip one beautiful Saturday morning to see how the forest looks like. As we entered the groove we saw several water tankers pumping water from a stream in the forest. A man approached us asked our mission and he advised we the ladies that it is a taboo for menstruating women to enter the groove. Luckily for us we were not in that time of the month. As we entered the groove we saw plastic bags littered everywhere in the forest and some people are using as defecation ground .
We saw butterflies and birds in the forest. There was a pot with a white handkerchief lying beside a big tree in the groove which obviously looked sacred. We had a small interview with some people who were fetching water from the stream. They informed us that there are tortoise and crabs in the stream.
Land is a valuable commodity in Ghana and every where in the world. Several disputes has arisen from sales of land by one person to different buyers. The Gua Koo sacred grove is being threatened by deforestation as several estate developers are interested in buying the land since it is good location for business. Already part of the forest have been cleared. Our visit to the place revealed trips of sand and stone lying on the cleared forest.
One can only wonder if the traditional authorities will sustain the culture and traditions of the people and protect the Gua Koo sacred grove or sell them to estate developers.