Namibia’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has launched the construction of new infrastructure for the Tsau//Khaeb National Park, which will include new offices, park entry gates and staff houses.

Speaking at the ceremony, held at the Kolmanskop ghost town near Lüderitz, Shifeta said the park had been closed to the public for the past century, ever since the discovery of diamonds in the area back in 1908.

The park was proclaimed in 2008 and little progress has been achieved due to the restricted access, as it falls within a declared diamond area under the Diamond Act 1999.

Shifeta said the ministry was now a step closer to transforming the area into a national park for biodiversity conservation and tourism development.  

Park gates will be constructed at Lüderitz, Peninsula, Kolmanskop, Garub, Rotkop, Obib, Aus, Swartkop and Sendelingsdrift, reports the Namibia Economist.

The project will further include the refurbishment of the historic old Post Office building at Lüderitz, which will serve as the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s local office, as well as construction of a new office at Aus, and an extension to the existing offices at Rosh Pinah and Oranjemund.

Funding for the project was made possible by the Namibia National Parks Programme, which provided around €14 million in conjunction with the German Government, and another €7 million from the Namibian Government.

Construction is expected to start next month and to be complete by November, 2019.

During the ceremony, the German Ambassador to Namibia, Christian-Matthias Schlaga, handed over  equipment  to further assist the park’s management. It includes a 4x4 truck co-financed by the German Government and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the Game Product trust Fund, as well as park tourist information signage, water point equipment, tool boxes for water maintenance, biodiversity monitoring equipment, fencing materials, a GPS, office equipment and cameras.

NamParks’ latest projects include the new park management infrastructure in Tsau//Khaeb National Park, the on-going construction of the Buffalo Park Management Station in Bwabwata National Park, and Shuno in Mudumu National Park.