African Parks Director of Conservation Development James Milanzi says the bad road network in Kafue National Park has damaged the realization of that parks dream and flagship status.

In a statement issued by Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public relations Manager Sakabilo Kalembwe, Milanzi, who is also The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Director, said his organization had noted the need for proper road network and had since offered $5 million grant per annum to revamp the park.

“African Parks (AP) Director of Conservation Development James Milanzi has said the bad road network in the Kafue National Park (KNP) is detrimental to the realization of the dream of the park’s flagship status. Speaking during the familiarisation tour for members of the Zambia Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) yesterday, Mr Milanzi said it is for this reason that his organization and TNC (The Nature Conservancy) are offering to help Government properly manage the park and attract tourists to the Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, the KNP. He said AP and TNC would like to manage the park and improve infrastructure so that the tourist season is not only limited to three months through the provision of all-weather roads,” Kalembwe stated.

Kalembwe also stated that the funds would be used in the management of the ecosystem and to create enabling conditions to secure the park from threats and create conservation outcomes.

“And TNC Country Director Dr. Victor Siamudala said his organization is looking forward to work with the AP and the Zambian Government to manage the KNP and the sorounding Game Management areas through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). He said together with AP, TNC propose to invest USD 5million per annum in the management of the ecosystem. He said the funds will be used to create the enabling conditions to secure the park from threats and create conservation outcomes and create an enabling environment to would investors in the park and grow the tourism industry in Zambia. Dr. Siamudala said it is hope that will also help to grow the bed capacity in the park from the current 300 to between 600 and 800 beds to allow more visitors including domestic tourists to the park,” stated Kalembwe.

“Meanwhile Bangweulu Constituency Member of Parliament Anthony Kasandwe who led the 10-member delegation to the park said there is need for more investment in the park to improve infrastructure including the road. The Parliamentarian said the time taken on the road is discouraging tourists who would like more time to view the game. He said the group had been to Bangweulu’s Lavushi Manda, the Liuwa and now Kafue following the indication of AP to Government to run the park.”