05 Aug 2013 07:40
KATIMA MULILO, 05 AUG (NAMPA) The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga inaugurated two new eco-sensitive park stations at Susuwe in the Bwabwata National Park and the Ngenda Station in the Mudumu National Park last Thursday.
At the occasion which took place at the Susuwe Station in the Caprivi Region, Herunga also handed over 52 bicycles, 20 tents, and five fridges to game rangers to use while patrolling the park, which has experienced an increase in poaching over the last few months.
The minister in addition launched the integrated development plan for the Namibian component of the Kavango Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area, commonly known as KAZA TFCA.
New eco-sensitive stations enable staff to better perform their duties and offer an improved visitor experience. New, energy-saving staff housing is an investment in our staff and is a benchmark for other parks to follow. New vehicles, boats, bicycles and other equipment also improve productivity, and our staffs quality of work, he noted.
Twenty staff housing quarters were built, which amongst others consists of three- and two-bedroom houses with solar water heaters, energy saving bulbs, street lights, gas stoves, and fire places.
According to Herunga, Government believes that parks need good planning to succeed. He said these plans guide the way forward to ensure improved, sustainable conservation and development.
The German and Namibian Governments established the Bwabwata Mudumu Malili Parks Project in 2004, and it is now referred to as the Namibia Parks (NamParks) programme.
As part of a larger financial agreement between the two countries, the German development bank (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau - KfW) provided N.dollars 60 million for phase one and two of the NamParks Programme. They also pledged a further N.dollars 60 million for phase three, scheduled to commence this year.
Namibias parks in the north-east are the Bwabwata, Khaudum, Mangetti, Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara national parks in the Caprivi Region.
Meanwhile, at the same occasion, KfW Senior Project Manager Dr Ralph Kadel noted that the funding has helped to generate revenue, provide jobs, reduce poverty, conserve biodiversity and protect habitats.
The brilliant model of private-public-partnership which sees the communities close to parks as business partners of private tourism operators, and which empowers them to negotiate fair contracts, is today recognised as a best practice example world-wide, he stressed.
Kadel added that well-managed protected areas increase wildlife numbers, attract more visitors, and lead to increased income for people and parks.