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British and Zambian rowers take on the Zambezi river for charity

posted 26 Jul 2011, 08:18 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Jul 2011, 08:21 ]
British and Zambian rowers plan to canoe 1,000 kilometres down the Zambezi river to raise over 50,000 US dollars for a water charity in Zambia.

CHAVUMA FALLS, ZAMBIA REUTERS - British and Zambian nationals will this week row down the Zambezi river, covering a stretch of 1,000 kilometres to raise funds for charity.

The team is expected to start its expedition in north west Zambia bordering Angola up to Livingstone, an adventure which is expected to run for 17 days.

The Zambezi river lies on one of the world's natural wonders--the Victoria falls and straddle the border of two countries --- Zimbabwe and Zambia.

They plan to raise over 50,000 US dollars for Village Water, a charity set up to provide clean drinking water to villages in the north west Zambia.

"The aim is twofold, one is to raise some awareness of some provision of clean water in villagers we are going to by-pass in Zambia so we are raising money for a charity called Village Water and the other aspect of this is to raise the profile of Zambian rowing so all of the boats that you can see here we are going to donate to Zambian rowing to set up a facility in Livingstone to attract young Zambians to get into the boats and to eventually race for their country," said expedition member, Tim Cook.

Zambia's permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Peter Mumba showed his support for the expedition with a talk to participants at the launch event.

He said Village Water, a charity registered in England and Wales, had been instrumental in bringing water to some of the hardest to reach areas of the country.

So far the charity has dug 65,000 water wells in 240 villages in Western Province.

"This is a commendable job and I wish to take this opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, to call upon other stakeholders in this country and indeed other cooperating partners to support this noble cause and partner with Village Water in contributing towards improving the living standards of our people," Mumba said.

Expedition members include Zambian and British rowers who expect the adventure to take almost three weeks.

"It's 1,000 kilometers and we are putting up the boats on the 28th of July and we hope to finish off on the 14th of August," Cook said.

The Zambezi River, one of the top 10 waterways in the world for boating and white-water rafting, has never been rowed in its entirety.

However, Livingstone city has for years hosted the Zambezi River International Regatta, an annual spectacle, which attracts hundreds of participants and tourists.

The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa and is 25 kilometres wide in some places.