The World Rowing Federation (FISA) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have taken a significant step forward with their Kafue River & Rowing Centre by funding the purchase of land on the banks of the Kafue River in Zambia.To date, joint fundraising efforts by WWF and the World Rowing community have raised more than USD 100,000. This is sufficient for WWF Zambia to purchase the land, design and commence the construction of the facility. Fundraising efforts will continue for both World Rowing and WWF.

Along with the purchase of the land, architectural designs are being produced for this multi-purpose Centre. Construction will be from locally-sourced materials and is planned for spring 2017, after the rainy season.

The Kafue River & Rowing Centre is a project to bring together water conservation research, education and sport and provide a neutral meeting place for all stakeholders on the river to meet in order to seek water-use solutions, together. It will also bring rowing to the local communities and other users of the Centre.

For the rowing component of the project, Community Rowing Inc. in Boston, United States are on board as the offi cial Coaching Education Partner. They will provide analysis of rowing opportunities in Kafue and Zambia and provide a fulltime coach as well as create a rowing education and coaching programme.

For the water management and stakeholder components of the project, these will be overseen by WWF Zambia and supported by the global WWF Network. This means working with the different parties that use the Kafue River including commercial and traditional farmers, tourism groups as well as industry and hydro dam operators.  An announcement concerning the education component will be made shortly.

Rowing’s “Kafue Ambassadors” from around the world have been working behind the scenes, encouraging all rowers to support this unique Clean Water project and, following the Rio Olympic Games, one ambassador, Kim Brennan from Australia will travel to the site adding her rowing knowledge not only to the Kafue project, but also to other rowing venues in Africa.

Source: Livingstone biweekly