Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has supported six enterprise groups around Kasungu National Park in the district with funds to the tune of K67 million through African Development Bank’s Promoting Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector (PICTS) Project.
According to Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Michael Usi, the gesture is an appreciation of work which cultural enterprise groups ply in providing first line defense against poachers and entertaining tourists when they visit Kasungu National Park.
“Livelihood is something that determines whether people will get into the park or not everywhere, so together with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife plus ADB, we knew that this money provided to them will be a livelihood pathway and alternative of not relying on the park for their needs,” he said.
In her remarks, a representative of all beneficiaries from Kawamba Arts and Hand Craft group, Memory Foloma, thanked the ministry for the surprise support, saying they never expected it.
“We are very happy and thankful for the reward which the ministry has offered after fulfilling what we were told. This money will help our businesses grow and us to guard the national park,” said Foloma.
The groups which include Chidzenje Cultural group, Katope Bee Keeping and Nthunduwala Arts and Craft among others, were also offered a four-day training in business management and finance before receiving the money on Friday.