Zambezi waterfront plans need to move forward: Ndopu-Lubinda

Zambezi Chief Regional Officer (CRO), Regina Ndopu-Lubinda says the Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park (ZWTP) is a valuable asset to the region and holds a lot of economic potential for its inhabitants.

Lubinda in an interview with Nampa called for the speedy implementation of the Cabinet decision concerning the Zambezi waterfront, which instructs Namibia Wildlife Resorts to take over the park and run its operations. The Cabinet decision was made some three years ago.

Lying on the banks of the Zambezi River, the Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park is an initiative of Government aimed at stimulating social and economic development in the north-eastern part of the country, as well as stimulating investment and promoting Namibia as a key tourism destination.

The waterfront is strategically located on 39 hectares of land along the southern bank of the Zambezi River and has access to the Trans-Caprivi Highway.

The Zambezi Chief CRO and the only board member of the ZWTP cautioned that the park has been closed to the public for quite some time and it is necessary to establish whether the initial plan still fits with the evolving tourism industry, or if amendments are needed.

Ndopu-Lubinda also warned that whoever will come in to manage and run the waterfront will need to ensure that the park’s plan is economically viable.

The CRO further cautioned that it is essential to establish whether the entire N.dollars 181 million was injected into the project, as it is just the first phase that has been completed, leaving the rest of the plan incomplete.

Ndopu-Lubinda said the Cabinet decision should be implemented before the facility loses its value.

“I wish to see Namibia Wildlife Resorts resuming operations at the waterfront so that it attracts major tourism to the region and have its economy revived,” she said.

Echoing similar sentiments to that of the region’s governor, Lawrence Sampofu not so long ago, Ndopu-Lubinda also proposed for the public-private partnership option to be considered, as several private investors have shown interest in the park before, should the first decision not materialise.

The Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park’s first phase has already existing infrastructure including an administration centre, bungalows, camping site facilities, water reticulation, roads, sewer, electrical and telecommunications facilities.

Source: NAMPA