The Kafue River & Rowing Centre was launched as a joint project between World Rowing and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2015. Significant progress has been made toward building the Centre, including identifying the site, plotting the land, fundraising and partnering with key stakeholders. In the coming months, the plans for construction are set to be finalised.   

The site of the Kafue River & Rowing Centre is of utmost importance to the local WWF branch, WWF Zambia. It is situated to the South-East of the town of Kafue, adjacent to the Kafue River and is the perfect location for studying the demands on Zambia’s most important resource: water. It is also situated just 200 metres from a local school, which will use the rowing equipment as a part of their physical education programme.

The nearly five acres of land has now been mapped and the land has been purchased from the previous owner, the United Church of Zambia. Access to the site is currently limited to small backroads, so WWF Zambia is working with the United Church of Zambia and the other neighbours to create a route that provides all-season access for all types of vehicles, including boat trailers. This route has now been identified and planning permission is being sought.

In order to facilitate construction while fundraising is still on-going, the build of the Centre has been divided into phases. The priority for the first phase is to establish a base at the Centre that enables simple education, and research and rowing activities to start at the Centre. The subsequent phases will aim to build more sophisticated facilities and greater capacity as the project develops and more funding comes onstream.

The end result will be an inspiring building to be constructed in modular format by a Zambian company.  It will reflect the surroundings and local culture and provide a centre for research and rowing to the local community and schools; and it will be appropriate for the area, being low impact, lightweight and innovative.

 In July this year, the Row Zambezi expedition will follow the Kafue River to help raise funds for the Kafue River & Rowing Centre. Eighteen rowers are taking part including South Africa’s Olympic Champion rower, Sizwe Ndlovu and 2017 Filippi Spirit Award winner, Micheen Thornycroft of Zimbabwe. The row will begin in the Kafue National Park and finish 900km later at the site of the Kafue River & Rowing Centre.  

The start of construction is dependent on securing the final portion of the fund necessary. To learn more about the project, click here.

To make a donation, click here.