KATIMA MULILO, 23 MAY (NAMPA) - The first phase of construction on the long-awaited Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park (ZWTP) has experienced frequent delays since 2008, but has now been completed and is ready for operation.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba has in the past expressed concern over the delays in the completion of this particular project.
ZWTP Public Relations? Officer Charles Chipango told Nampa on Thursday that the first phase of the long-awaited project, which included the setting-up of water reticulation systems, irrigation systems, roads, electricity, sewer lines and fire hydrants was completed at the beginning of this year already.
?The camping areas, nine bungalows and the administration block have already been completed. The construction of the kitchen and bar area in nearing the final stage,? he said.
Most of the delays were mainly due to floods which were experienced in the area, but sometimes there were also other reasons.
The construction materials which were procured from either Windhoek or South Africa, for example, also caused some of the delays, and prevented the construction team from completing the multi-million dollar project within the given timeframe.
The waterfront park, which is expected to boost tourism in the Caprivi Region, is a government initiative aimed at stimulating socio-economic development in that north-eastern part of the country, while also strengthening investment and promoting Namibia as a key tourism destination.
The second phase of construction, which includes the building of an additional 26 bungalows, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Chipango said those wishing to conduct business on tourism-related activities at the waterfront are encouraged to apply for space. The successful applicants will be charged a fee of N.dollars 50 per square metre.
The ZWTP will be unique in that it will promote community tourism through cultural activities such as traditional dances, wood-carving, weaving and basketry.
?It will be a tourism hub, and will serve to ensure that visitors and tourists stay longer in the Caprivi Region,? Chipango noted.
Once completed, the Zambezi Waterfront will also consist of a three-star hotel and entertainment and floating centre, as well as a shopping mall.
The waterfront is strategically located on 22 hectares of land along the southern bank of the Zambezi River.