BY VICTOR BAATWENG
KASANE ÔÇô A renewed effort to liven up the area around Kasane-Kazungula is underway. Termed ÔÇô Kasane-Kazungula Re-development Plan (KKRP), the project will amongst other things identify strategically located land parcels within the Chobe district to maximise economic yield.
Project coordinator – Jobe Ofetotse told a gathering of the tourism sector led by the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) that a decision was made in 2012 to explore opportunities for maximizing the tourism potential of the area as well as diversify the tourism product to include other activities besides game viewing.
Amongst other things the project will result in waterfront developments such as hotels, restaurants, offices, urban spaces and a common jetty.
The aim of the waterfront project, according to Ofetotse is to increase access to the Chobe River by the members of the public. Amongst other things, the water front development plan entails a conference facility, logistics park, Kazungula Commercial Gateway precinct as well as Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) regional office.
While the plan has already been laid out, Ofetotse said that the redevelopment agency has encountered the challenges that result from fragmented institutional planning. He added that there is need to make integrated planning a legal requirement for both municipal and public enterprise development planning.
“The Agency is therefore developing an Integrated Destination Master Plan to cover all projects within Kasane and Kazungula and possibly the rest of the District”, Ofetotse said. As a result of the master plan it is highly likely that some of the exiting government offices will relocate to pave way for the development. This includes the existing Botswana Defence Force camp, Prison & Prison farm, CTO, Chobe Brigade and Education centre.
Chobe district is one of the country’s tourism hub comprising the Chobe National Park, Chobe River and six Forest reserves. Since 1968 the Forest Reserves in the Chobe District were strictly set aside for conservation purposes.
While the agency tasked with the new development has not revealed the expected total cost of the project as yet, chances are that the government is likely to implement it through the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) model.