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Sierra Leone News: Road around chimpanzee sanctuary needs fixing

Road leading to the sanctuary and some of the Chimpanzee

Road leading to the sanctuary and some of the Chimpanzee

In 1995, Bala Amarasekaran founded the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the forested Western Area as a home for orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees.
Now, he says, a major problem facing the sanctuary is a lack of funding from the government, which has hindered development of the sanctuary.
“We are yet to receive one Leone from the government,” Amarasekaran said. Currently the sanctuary relies on grants, donations and revenue from  tourists.
“We are the number one recognised tourist destination in this country,” Amarasekaran added, noting that the Sanctuary is the top result on the website ‘Trip Advisor’ for Sierra Leone.
Amarasekaran thinks if the government values tourism and the revenue it can bring, it should invest money to further develop the sanctuary, which has several lodges offering overnight stays for tourists. The sanctuary needs more investment in infrastructure, Amarasekaran said. “If the government thinks it is something to be proud of, they should put their money into it. I should not be patching roads,” he said.
When Awoko reporters visited the Sanctuary, the road in the surrounding area  which was above a steep drop down the hill — was full of deep potholes. It was also difficult for the vehicle to turn around in the narrow space the road provided.
By Chetanya Robinson & Edna Smalle
Monday July 25, 2016

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