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Investing in Paradise: Can Yusufari Oasis Become Yobe’s Tourism Crown Jewel?

The CITAD Online Radio Team on May 10th, 2024 embarked on a journey to the Yusufari Local Government in Yobe State to visit an oasis, known as Kuri-Wakko Sand Dunes. Nestled within the vast desert of extreme northern parts of Yobe State, Nigeria, this emerald jewel emerges as a breathtaking mirage, earning the nickname “The Desert Land of Hope.” Lush vegetation and life-giving water create a stark contrast to the surrounding arid plains. With its stunning scenery and potential for adventure, the Kuri-Wakko Oasis positions itself as a potential crown jewel for Yobe’s blossoming tourism industry.

 

The allure of Kuri-Wakko Oasis lies in its unique juxtaposition. Towering sand dunes embrace the oasis, offering opportunities for camel rides, sandboarding, and exploration. The cool, vibrant oasis itself provides a haven for relaxation, with the possibility of guided nature walks, birdwatching, or simply soaking in the tranquility. Culturally rich experiences can also be found through interactions with the local people, offering a glimpse into their way of life.

However, for Kuri-Wakko Oasis to reach its full potential, investment is crucial. Developing basic infrastructure like eco-lodges, camping facilities, and proper sanitation would cater to tourists while preserving the natural beauty. Transportation links need improvement, making the oasis more accessible. Safety and security are paramount, and addressing any concerns would be essential to attracting visitors. For now, the only way to get to the place is through a circuitous way, travelling from Nguru to Gashua, then to Yusufari. Here modern road ends. You take a 4-wheel vehicle to drive in the sand with your path hardly traceable. From Yusufari to drive to Maimalari, driving in a sand valley covering more than 20Km that you could in 40 minutes with some luck. From Maimalari to the Valley that hosts Kuri-Wakko is another 20Km in the sand.


The economic benefits of a flourishing Kuri-Wakko Oasis are undeniable. Job creation in hospitality, guiding, and local crafts would significantly boost the Yobe state economy. Increased tourism would showcase the state’s hidden gem, potentially attracting further investment across different sectors.

Security concerns in the region must be effectively addressed. Sustainable development practices are essential to ensure the oasis’s long-term health. Collaboration between the government, local communities, and private investors is key to navigating these challenges.
CITAD Online Radio Team experienced the challenges firsthand. Lack of proper access roads makes the journey difficult, and public awareness about the Kuri-Wakko Oasis is low. Many people we encountered in Gashua Local Government and even in Yusufari itself, had never heard of it. This lack of infrastructure led to a flat tire and getting lost on the return trip. But the lack of infrastructure is only a short hand for neglect of this potential tourism mine by governments both at state and federal levels as well lack of promotion by local organization such ad the Yobe State Chambers of Commerce, Agriculture, Mining and Tourism.

 

Despite the hurdles, Kuri-Wakko Oasis holds immense promise. Investing in its development could transform Yobe’s state tourism landscape. With careful planning, responsible execution, and improved infrastructure, this “Desert Land of Hope” could become a reality, not just for Yobe, but for Nigerian tourism as a whole.

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