Giving back: Our initiatives in the community

By 23 August 2016 News No Comments

At the Zambezi Queen Collection, we’re not simply about luxury travel and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We’re also involved in development, education and employment initiatives that give back to the local community. Here are some projects our properties are currently involved with:

Zambezi QueenZambezi Queen | Luxury Houseboat

  • We sank a borehole at the Someli Village to provide clean drinking water for those living in the area. This eco-friendly borehole pump is powered by a solar panel, to make it as sustainable as possible.
  • We provided Ijambwe Village with a water pump and building materials so that they could construct an ablution facility that would accommodate more members of the village. Guests also donated seeds during a recent cultural tour so that a vegetable garden could be started. We support the village financially by paying a monthly rental fee, which also gives our guests the opportunity to visit the village and learn more about local life. Villagers can also use this opportunity to sell their wares to guests who visit, such as wooden carved bowls and beaded jewellery.
  • Our Forever Wild Project uses funds raised from the sale of plush toy wild rhinos to our guests, to provide the learners of Kasika Primary School with uniforms and stationery. Mr John Lutombi, the land-owner and our landlord, recently handed out these gifts to learners – this project will be ongoing so that local children have a better chance at a good education.

Kasika Primary School

  • We make monthly payments to the Kasika Conservancy to support them, and these payments also partly fund the salary of a cleaner who collects litter at the Kasika Immigration office. We also help this conservancy with the daily enforcing of the conservation laws of the area.
  • In the same way we also support the Kabulabula Conservancy with monthly payments. We provide food, transport and financial assistance to many Ndunas, the local leaders of communities, as well as members of their local Kuta, their court.
  • We recently built a sophisticated sewage treatment system at Nchenku, which will process waste from all of the Zambezi Queen Collection houseboats and promote a cleaner environment for all.

Sewerage System | Zambezi Queen Collection

  • We provide weekly transport for locals who need medical care or who are attending funerals. We also donate money to those requiring emergency medical assistance, as well as transport building materials when needed.
  • We donated a new boat to the landowner at Nchenku and this provides vital transport for the villagers of this area to reach the nearest towns, markets and schools.
  • Because we believe education is so important, we’re currently financially assisting three scholars with their university and tertiary education fees.
  • Our staff members regularly maintain immigration pathways by cleaning, removing rubble and rebuilding roads after rains and floods, both on Impalila and Kasika islands.
  • We provide transport to pensioners every month so that the elderly can travel from Leguva to Kasika and collect their monthly government grants.
  • When employing new members of staff, we always draw from local inhabitants on Nchenku Island, whether this is for permanent or temporary roles.
  • We help the Namibian Police Force as well as the Namibian Navy based on Impalila Island when they require repairs and maintenance to their patrol boats.
  • Weekly financial and food donations are made to members of the sub Kuta and Kuta, sectors of the tribal court, for celebrations, public holidays and social gatherings.
  • We sponsor local soccer tournaments regularly, providing food and money.
  • Our staff members continuously clean the river and estuary of floating pollution because we want to keep this area as naturally beautiful as it’s always been.
  • We buy fresh produce weekly from local farmers, in order to support the local economy while we feed guests on board.
  • We make annual donations to celebrate Independence Day to police stations, villages and schools.
  • We also help villagers drive cattle across rivers during the flood periods in order to minimise the loss of valuable stock.
  • We donate solar panels and batteries to villages on request.
  • We assist local conservancies by providing monthly fuel donations for their patrol boats.
  • After heavy storms, we help retrieve sunken boats from the Chobe River – especially during the rainy season.
  • We stock our Zambezi Queen gift shop with many crafts from locals, supporting their small businesses.
  • Most importantly, the Zambezi Queen currently employ 63 Namibian people from the local community, providing ongoing training and mentorship to them and enabling them to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Chobe Princess houseboats and Ichingo Chobe River Lodge Chobe Princess and Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

  • Between the Chobe Princess houseboats and the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, we provide employment to 65 people.
  • We currently pay 12 students’ fees at either university or school, coming to a total of approximately $15 000 per year.
  • We’ve set up a Community Development Fund that is used to administer and grow Impalila Island infrastructure, including providing salaries for school teachers and clinic nurses.
  • 150 people have access to taps and clean water because of the water supply we’ve set up for the five adjacent villages to Ichingo Chobe River Lodge. We also provide the village next to the lodge with electricity free of charge, as well as the adjacent government agricultural centre.
  • We’ve provided two boats and two engines to the villages of Kasika and Ijambwe to assist with the transport of goods and services, and to take the children to school whenever the rivers flood.

Boat Donation and Fresh Produce

  • We also provide financial support to the Khuta of Impalila Island, a tribal court of that particular island.
  • We arrange village walks in order to promote Impalila Island, including the schools and clinic, and to provide a market for local entrepreneurs to sell their curios.
  • We sponsor various Impalila Island events such as soccer tournaments and netball leagues.
  • We provided seeds to a local man on Impalila Island so that he could maintain a vegetable garden. The fruit and vegetables are then bought back by the Lodge and served to guests in our delicious meals.
  • We also make monthly contributions to the various conservancies, as well as to those families whose land provides space for our Chobe Princesses to dock.
  • We also make regular donations of money, transport and fuel towards the community when they need it such as at funerals and for any medical expenses.

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