15 Jul 2018 13:30pm
LÜDERITZ, 15 JUL (NAMPA) - The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta on Friday launched the construction of infrastructure for the Tsau //Khaeb National Park near Lüderitz in the //Kharas Region, valued at N.dollars 300 million.
The development in what was formerly known as the Sperrgebiet includes staff houses, offices and park entry gates and will also include the refurbishment of the old post office building in Lüderitz to serve as the ministry's office.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony at Kolmanskop near the harbour town on Friday, Shifeta said the park has been closed to the public for the past century since the discovery of diamonds there in 1908.
He said since the proclamation of the park in 2008, little progress was achieved in developing tourism there due to restricted access as it falls within a declared diamond area under the Diamond Act 1999.
The ministry is a step closer to transforming the area into a national park for biodiversity conservation and tourism development, Shifeta said.
He added that the park is part of what has become one of the longest protected coastlines in the world and is the third largest national park in Namibia after the Etosha and Namib Naukluft park.
Shifeta noted that the infrastructure is being funded by the Namibia National Parks Programme, with the German government committing about N.dollars 217 million (Euro 14 million) for the implementation of activities, while the Namibian government committed about N.dollars 108 million.
The development falls under the Namibia National Parks programme, which has been running since 2006 in support of the countrys development and conservation initiatives, the minister said.
Construction is expected to start next month and completion is expected by November 2019.
At the same occasion, German Ambassador to Namibia, Christian Schlaga said the park has a rich history for both Namibia and Germany, hence the need for the collaboration in the development.
It is a dark history. However, we have started off with a new chapter of collaboration, friendship, respect and it is all in the interest of the development of Namibia and its people, said Schlaga.