The land purchase, on the banks of Zambia’s Kafue River, secures the site for the multifaceted state-of-the-art centre which will be used for water education and research as part of WWF Zambia’s Freshwater Programme. It will also be used as a physical education centre based around rowing activities for the local community and schools.

“With official certification of the purchase of the land and approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment, the project can now proceed,” says Nachilala Nkombo, Country Director WWF Zambia. “Construction of the centre is now possible.”
“Finally concluding the land ownership is an important and fundamental step forward,” says World Rowing’s Executive Director Matt Smith.

“The work that has gone on behind the scenes has been immense and lengthy, but we are 100 per cent committed to creating this multipurpose centre with WWF in line with our clean water mission. I want to thank all those within our rowing community who responded so generously to our appeal for donations and helped to make this important step possible but we have many more steps to take on this ambitious journey and more funding is needed.”

The Kafue river mirrors the challenges facing many rivers around the world and WWF and World Rowing will use their global reach to share the output and benefits of the project far beyond Zambia and inspire others to create change in their own communities.

The goal of the Kafue River and Rowing Centre will be to connect freshwater experts and researchers from across Africa and the world, who will use the Centre to study freshwater challenges and find solutions.

“Unfortunately, many people today don’t have access to fresh water even though it’s a basic human need. Therefore, it’s crucial that we tackle the problem as early as possible because, if not, in the future people will suffer even more,” Kafue River & Rowing Centre Ambassador Roman Roeoesli of Switzerland.

The KRRC centre will be a regional hub to boost research, funding and freshwater conservation expertise and contribute to sustainable water management in the Zambezi River Basin. It will Contribute to educating Zambia and southern Africa’s next generation of water experts and serve as a hub for water stakeholders to advance good water management.

The Centre will also support improved decision-making for local communities and water users – from utility companies and heavy industry to farmers, fishers and recreational users – through its programme of training, awareness-raising and problem resolution.

The centre will create a permanent base for the development of the sport of rowing in Zambia with outreach to southern African countries. Local schools and universities will use the Centre for an innovative curriculum of environmental education and water-based sport, building lasting connections with the river they rely on.

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