In a press release the other day, the World Rowing Federation (FISA), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the IHE Institute for Water Education announced their agreement to work together to develop and deliver the education and research components of the Kafue River & Rowing Centre (KRRC) and its sustainable operation in the future.
The KRRC will be an innovative, multi-purpose water research and rowing centre located on the Kafue River, south of Lusaka, Zambian. It will enhance conservation expertise on the Kafue River, which is part of the Zambezi River Basin – a WWF global priority area – and will be used daily by school children, university students, rowing club members, researchers, conservationists, as well as business and government stakeholders, international visitors and local communities.
At a local level, IHE’s involvement will stimulate school programmes to increase awareness of water and ecosystem health among citizens. At a wider level the education component will include high-quality academic programmes at the MSc and PhD levels, as well as specific training courses to fit the needs of the region’s stakeholders and position the centre internationally. Data will be available and free to use through a state-of-the art data server. This will draw international researchers to the centre.
IHE Institute for Water Education is the world’s largest post graduate education and research institution dedicated to sustainable water use in developing countries and countries in transition. IHE’s vision is for people to manage their water and environmental resources sustainably, and all sectors of society to enjoy access to clean water and basic ecosystem services. This vision is realised through education, training and research to build the capacity of sector organisations, knowledge centres and institutions in the fields of water, the environment and infrastructure.
The Kafue River & Rowing Centre is a project to bring together water conservation research, education and sport. It will provide a neutral meeting place for all stakeholders on the river to seek water-use solutions, together. It will also bring rowing to the local communities and other users of the centre. Construction will be from locally-sourced materials and is planned for spring 2017, after the rainy season.
For the rowing component of the project, Community Rowing Inc. in Boston, USA, is on board as the official Coaching Education Partner. They will provide analysis of rowing opportunities in Kafue and Zambia and provide a full-time coach as well as create a rowing education and coaching programme.
The water management and stakeholder components of the project, these will be overseen by WWF Zambia and supported by the global WWF Network. They will work with the different parties that use the Kafue River including commercial and traditional farmers, tourism groups as well as industry and hydro dam operators.
To learn more, visit the Kafue River & Rowing Centre here.