The once celebrated Farin Ruwa falls, a tourist attraction in Nasarawa State, has been abandoned. Our correspondent, DANJUMA JOSEPH, in Lafia, takes a look at the economic potentials of the falls.
Aside the popular Farin Ruwa falls, Nasarawa State, is naturally blessed with other tourism potentials such as Doma Dam, Eggon Hills and Caves, Pepe Ruwa Lake, Akiri warm spring, Ara Rock, Bakyono Game Reserve, Onyibi Hills-Doma, Maloney Hills-Keffi, Hunkuyi Water Pond, Giza Crocodile Pond and several others.
Of all these eco-tourism potentials of the one that attracted the attention of the state government, when Abdullahi Adamu, was the governor, was the Farin ruwa natural water falls, which has the capacity of generating electricity, to boost the economic activities of the state.
Farin ruwa falls, meaning ‘white’ water falls, is a natural spring waters, falling from the top of the hills of over one thousand meters above sea levels, covered with thick forest and located in Massenge village, in Farin Ruwa Development Area, of Wamba local government of Nasarawa State.
History has it that, Farin Ruwa falls, was first discovered by the colonial masters in the 1950’s, where they established a rest house on Gur Hill, at Marhai village, close to the falls. They gazetted it and named it ‘Marhai Forest Reserve’ and since then, little or nothing was done to unravel the economic potentials of the falls, until recently.
About two kilometres away from the main falls, is the Farin Fuwa resort, standing on top of another hill, which on its own is a tourist attraction, where you can view the entire surrounding environment and the main water falls, falling from the top of the hills and from this end, one can hear the roaring sounds of the falls.
If the resort was put to use, it would have accommodated tourists, especially foreigners, who it was learnt at times, slept out side in the open of the thick forest, there by exposing them to serious dangers. The resort, could have served as source of revenue for the state, if put to use.
Farin ruwa falls, is naturally surrounded by thick forest, with economic trees that could produce timbers at large commercial quantities. The forest, is also surrounded by monkeys, baboons, birds, reptiles and different species of animals Another good features of Farin Ruwa falls, is the serene environment, the cool weather and the quite nature of the thick forest, surrounded by green vegetations and its rocky nature.
Record book kept by the falls tour guide, Mr Emmanuel Agalti, shows that visitors from all over the world including England, USA, Canada, Malaysia and other African countries, always called visiting the amazing falls. Information obtained from the record book shows that over 2000 visitors visited the falls, after another visitors book was opened in April 2008.
Mr Agalti, who hails from Massenge, the host community of the falls, is an employee of the state Ministry of Culture and tourism, who said he reports to work every day, from morning to evening, saying he also reports to work at weekends, when he has visitors.
The traditional ruler of the Kulere people of Massenge, is 36 years Saf Kyobok Agyisam, a graduate of Agric Economics from the famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that his community, Massenge, a community with primary and secondary schools, is grateful to God for the gift of Farin Ruwa Falls.
Saf Kyobok, who disclosed that the original name of the falls is Mayes (meaning it has come) from somewhere, said the source of the falls is from Sha, in Bokkos Local Government of Plateau State, gushing out from three tributaries that formed a pond on the top of the rocks.
Saf Kyobok, who expressed worries over the abandoned Farin Ruwan project, called on government to rekindle the dreams of making the falls, a tourist delight of the people of the state, Nigerians and the world at large.
The traditional ruler who took over from his late father who ruled for 39 years and died at the ripe of 125 years, said his father was converted to Islam in 1954, by the then Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello at the presence of the then traditional ruler of Wamba.
Saf Kyobok, also revealed that the shrine close to the foot of the falls was inherited from the ancestors called (Karam), who worshiped a deity called (Juh), lead by the chief priest, Ngara Agbojo, who called on the gods for victory over enemies during wars, calamities, lack of rains and for bumper harvest.
The traditional ruler, also disclosed that his late father’s tax receipts were used by the Nasarawa State government to win a case over the rightful ownership of Farin Ruwa Falls between Plateau and Nasarawa States, at the Federal High Court Abuja. He equally revealed that there was a beacon, which is still on top of the rock, which serves as border between the old Pankshin and Wamba Native Authorities, now Plateau and Nasarawa States.
Infact, with the foundation laid so far, Farin Ruwa falls can be turned into a tourists haven to make it compete with Obudu Ranch, so that Mr president and other top government officials, need not to travel that far for recess, or holidays.
There is the urgent need for the state government, to make tourism one of its priorities and government, should construct road to Farin Ruwa Falls, provide facilities such as restaurants, mini golf course, other recreational facilities and heliport, to make Farin Ruwa Falls, a full fledged tourist attraction.
Tourism potentials cannot be over emphasized at this digital age because it is one of the most popular ways of spending free time and holidays. This potentials need to be developed, mainly because of the material benefit it brings to the state too. It is also another big means of generating revenues to boost the economy of the state and the country at large.
If this eco-tourism potentials of the state, Farin Ruwa Falls, is developed to the fullest, it will create employment opportunities to thousands of Nasarawa State indigenes, who are roaming the streets without work, leading them into political thuggery and other nefarious attitudes that portray the state in a bad light.
Indeed, the need and the importance of developing tourism, especially the Farin Ruwa Water Falls, cannot be over emphasized as it will bring about a lot of economic opportunities to the state.
Above all, if all the tourist potentials of the state are fully developed and put into use, it will attract local and foreign investors, who will certainly invest and it will be of mutual economic benefits to the state and the country at large.