Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta has described Sesheke and Mwandi districts in Western Province as tourist destinations and key components of Livingstone, the city co-hosting the UNWTO General Assembly.
Speaking during a high-level economic exchange dialogue with Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda in Lusaka, Senior Chief Yeta disclosed that a joint programme called Simalaha Community Conservancy has been introduced in partnership with Chief Sikute to create a wildlife park aimed at empowering the local people.
“We are in the process of producing an integrated tourism product that is going to attract tourists and create opportunities for wealth creation for our people. Government, through the Minister of Tourism and Arts, has already granted authority for ZAWA [Zambia Wildlife Authority] to apply seed animals to the conservancy,” Chief Inyambo Yeta said.
Simalaha Community Conservancy is located on an important eco-tourism corridor and is part of the larger Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Trans Frontier. He said most community-based projects under his chiefdom in Mwandi and Sesheke districts were being spearheaded by the Inyambo Development Trust to foster transparency and accountability.
He said Government had helped the trust by supporting projects like the Mwandi Cultural Centre.
“We are also in the process of establishing the five-star Mwandi Royal Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River and rehabilitating the Silowama [Sioma] National Park which project Government has engaged Peace Parks Foundation to ensure a sustainable rehabilitation and wildlife restocking programme,” he said.
He said the Inyambo Development Trust had received support from co-operating partners to construct a fish farm which has the potential to produce 600 pure breed fish fingerings per annum. And Mr Chikwanda congratulated the senior chief on his appointment as a board member of Peace Parks International and establishing the Inyambo Development Trust.
He said the initiative to create the trust had exemplified the chief’s vision, passion and commitment to development in Zambia.
“Economic exchange dialogue such as this one cements relations across the width and breadth of the country and facilitate performance benchmarking as success in one part has a positive social demonstration effect on other part of Zambia,” he said.
He also commended the Barotse Royal Establishment for the visionary leadership which had resulted in the setting up of sustainable community development projects in Mwandi and Sesheke districts.
“The people of Western Province are very hard-working and resourceful, which is why we want the community development plans under your leadership to succeed by giving you the necessary logistical support,” he said.
Date: 21 August 2013