By Business Reporter
THE Government has urged tourism organisations to explore more tourism ventures on the Zambezi River which can stimulate growth of other sectors.
Ventures including rowing should be explored so that they can be developed and packaged as some of the main tourism products.
Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources permanent secretary Peter Mumba said developing the rowing along the Zambezi River would stimulate development of other auxiliary industries along the stretch of the river.
He said this would in turn create wealth in the local economy and improve the standards of living of the communities.
Speaking during the launch of the Row Zambezi Expedition in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mumba said the expedition should not be viewed as a one off event but serve as building blocks to broaden the tourism product base as well as grow the tourism industry.
The Expedition is being celebrated under the theme ‘Rowing million meters for million liters’.
Mr Mumba said the expedition would also promote Zambia as a tourist destination of choice and encourage water sport on the Zambezi River.
“The purpose of this expedition is to raise awareness among Zambian citizens and other stakeholders on the need to improve sanitation and access to clean drinking water,” he said.
He said the Government was working towards achieving the United Nations goals on the basic human rights of improved sanitation and access to clean water.
This is important because improved sanitation and access to clean drinking water was critical to the well being of the people.
“Indeed the Zambezi River will offer the excitement, thrill and fulfillment to the rowers.
“The river is long and wide and has interesting characteristics such as rapids, tranquility and yet full of life and round the river and its banks,” Mr Mumba said.
He said the event was also aimed at raising US$50,000 (K250 million) through the sponsorship.
The funds would be donated to Village Waters, a charitable organization.
Village Waters has been helping villages in western province with access to clean drinking water and sanitation campaigns.
Village Waters has constructed 65,000 water wells in 240 villages in western province.
Speaking at the same function, Freshpikt Limited managing director Midge Drakes said the expedition would trigger increased consumption of local products and services thereby contributing to the welfare of the country.
Mr Drakes said the expedition which targets the tourism industry would help consumers identify products that meet minimum standards.
“Overall the campaign will increase Zambia’s competitiveness in sectors such as manufacturing, service especially resulting from increased consumption by the local market,” Mr Drakes said.