AFRICAN Parks, non-profit making Organisation engaged to manage the Liuwa National Park in Kalabo district, has told Government that it wants to expand its coverage on the upper Zambezi area to accommodate more animals.
African Parks Country Manager James Milanzi told the ministerial committee on tourism development, co-chaired by Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba that African Parks wanted to expand its area of coverage although there had been some resistance from the community.
He said this during a business plan presentation to the committee which visited the park over the weekend.
The plans are to get another portion on the upper Zambezi Game management area to accommodate more animals for more tourism attraction.
But Mr. Sikumba said African Parks should engage Dr. Musokotwane who was also area MP on its commercial plan development plan.
He said even when the institution faced challenges with the community leaders to resolve matters.
“You are looking for another portion on the upper Zambezi area, but local people use it for legitimate hunting and for firewood, so you need to engage the MP and the people,” he said.
He said in order to acquire more space African Parks needs at least to years or less to put everything in order.
Dr. Musokotwane said that African Parks should know that expanding into upper West Zambezi did not only involve Liuwa constituency but also extend to Mitete.
“And the campaign should start now, so that you explain what you have done over the years because even when you first came there was opposition until late President Levy Mwanawasa stood his ground,” he said.
He said the Government was negotiating with World Bank on tourism support and the focus was on job creation because the Government could not employ everyone as health workers or teachers.
He said on job creation, the Government had identified the tourism sector and targeted the Liuwa National Park, Kasaba Bay and the source of Zambezi river for development and private sector participation.
“Tell us what you want us to do for Liuwa, especially on accessibility, by the end of this way we will have a bridge at Luangwe river,” he said.
The world Bank showed skepticism if Liuwa was worth investing in, but by October we should know which interventions should be undertaken.