Arguably, one of the best in the country, Olumirin waterfalls, widely touted to be one of the unsung wonders of nature in Nigeria, at Erin-Ijesa in Osun State is, gradually, becoming a neglected site.
Located off the Ilesa-Akure expressway, the site is going through very hard times, what with the roadside signboard hardly visible, making visitors to, often, miss their way. The road is in a state of disrepair, same is the main gate to the waterfalls.
A tourist, visiting with his family of five from Lagos, Adewale Olanrewaju expressed his frustration, “It is sad that we’re encouraged to visit our sites in order to promote domestic tourism and avoid capital flight. How can we patronise our local sites when I drove around for over an hour to search for this site, with no signs to direct any visitor from the express road to the site.
Just look at the road leading to the site?”
The gateman, who collects N500 per head from every visitor, identified himself as John, but, was unwilling to disclose the name of the firm he represented, simply saying, “I’m only doing my job. We’re the consultant to the government.”
If the road to the main gate of the site was bad, visitors would not find the inside any better. The once tarred road is an eyesore! The shaky railings are rusty and could give way anytime, there is filth everywhere, the car parks are bushy;
staircases, in some areas, are slippery and have no barriers to prevent people from falling over; a glaring state of general abandonment of the waterfalls. When Daily Times approached the head consultant on site, asking what the money being collected from visitors to the site is used for, he answered, “I’m not to oversee repairs, but, ensure prompt payment by visitors. You can put that question to my oga”, when asked how to contact his boss, he declined.
Another tourist, Kikelomo Akinuli said, “This is my first time here. It is quite stunning and it oozes a calming ambience which only something natural can produce. It is only a pity that the government is not doing much to promote, brand and package the site. It should be a money-spinning venture, if well harnessed. Just today, that I came here, some students came with five luxury buses and four 18-seater buses. Can you imagine how much money this consultant is making?
“When I saw the pitiable state of the site, I wondered what the government had been doing with all the money being collected from the site, more attention should be paid to this lovely site by the relevant authorities. Check the first level of the waterfalls, so beautiful and amazing, I have never seen anything like this, before now, in my life.
The water flows with a rhythm and just watching it relaxes my soul. It is so inviting I couldn’t stop myself from having a feel of it; I needed to feel the water on my skin, and not minding my hair, I went in. imagine how it embraced my body like a lost child, it took a lot of plea to get me out of the water”, she said with a smile. Despite the poor state of the site, the waterfalls remain a site any tourist would crave to visit any day.