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EU delegation inspects multi-million-dollar projects in Zambezi

2023-12-07  Albertina Nakale

EU delegation inspects multi-million-dollar projects in Zambezi

KONGOLA - About five European ambassadors, including the ambassador of the European Union to Namibia Ana Beatriz Martins, are in the Zambezi region on a three-day field trip to assess and inspect various capital projects funded by the European Union and European member states.

Theselargelyincludeconservation projects aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of local communities, especially those who live within conservancies and nearby national parks, and who often encounter human-wildlife conflicts. The visits started on Monday and end today [Wednesday], and include the Mudumu National Park (park station) to assess progress on the parks management infrastructures constructed through KFW and Namparks to improve Namibia’s national parks.

The project is a result of a grant by the German government to the environment and tourism ministry as part of long-term support to the value of 54.3 million Euros (approximately N$1.9 billion) between 2006 to 2024.

These visited multi-milliondollar facilities form part of the Namibian-German Development  Cooperation, which constructed new staff houses, offices and park entry gates around national parks countrywide. German ambassador to Namibia Thorsten Hutter during the visit on Monday expressed gratitude to environment and tourism ministry staff members at the Mudumo National Park as the infrastructure is up and running, and can accommodate local and international tourists.

The ministry’s wildlife and national parks’ control warden in Zambezi, Leeverty Muyoba, welcomed tourists wholeheartedly. “Unlike in the past, we now have offices. We have staff members manning the gates and receiving tourists. Both facilities are being used. They tell tourists about park rules. We are happy, and enjoy the park receiving our tourists,” he smiled.

Muyoba revealed that from January to November 2023, the park received 3 350 visitors, of whom about 2 200 came from Europe, leaving the remainder as locals and from other parts of the African continent. The delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Mashi Traditional Authority’s chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni at Choi village in  the Kongola area.

The chief welcomed the delegation, and complimented the European development partners for their continued financial support towards conservation efforts in the region. Mayuni likewise touched on challenges affecting the communities such as humanwildlife conflict, as many live adjacent to national parks or within conservancies, where dangerous animals also reside.

“I am happy to have your delegation come and visit us to ensure our wildlife is protected. There is a big conflict between people and wild animals. We also have issues with poachers. So, we do joint patrols, arrest these poachers and confiscate the guns used. We commit to take care of our wildlife, and do not want to be seen as poachers,” the chief said assuredly.

French ambassador to Namibia SОbastien Minot informed the chief that his government has invested N$70 million in wildlife management projects in Namibia to improve livelihoods within conservancies, and to help reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Minot applauded Namibia’s conservation models, which he said neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Botswana and South Africa can emulate.

The delegation then visited the chili and poultry project at Sesheke, as well as the fish reserve sites in the Mayuni conservancy supported by the SWM (FAO, EU). Other visits included the crocodile fence and lion-proof kraal sites in the Kwandu conservancy. The five ambassadors furthermore paid courtesy visits to Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu, as well as toured the University of Namibia’s aquaponics project funded by Finland and HSFGermany to improve Namibia’s food security.

They went to the Zambezi Vocational Training Centre to assess the agricultural campus’ block constructed and equipped by GIZ-ProVET, among other projects which have also been funded by the governments of Spain, France and Ireland. Spanish ambassador to Namibia Alberto de la Calle, and Irish ambassador to Zambia and Namibia Bronagh Carr formed part of the delegation. 

The Zambezi region of Namibia is known for its vast conservation landscape, which is part of the world’s largest transboundary conservation area – the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). Additionally, the region is home to many tourism and hunting trophy amenities, and famous for its abundant wildlife, especially its unique African elephant herds and many magnificent florae landscape.


2023-12-07  Albertina Nakale

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