CONSTRUCTION of various infrastructure at Maramba Cultural Village in Livingstone will be completed by June this year ahead of the August 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly, site engineer and project manager Daniel Nyirenda has said.
In December last year, the Government signed a contract with a Chinese firm Chao Chao Construction Limited to complete the construction of Maramba Cultural Village at a sum of KR4.1 million (K4.1 billion).
The contract, which involves the construction of a kitchen, multi-purpose theatre, restaurant, bar, outdoor stage, landscaping, external fencing and completion of the Village, is aimed at promoting cultural tourism in Livingstone.
Once the village is completed, the Zambia National Dance Troupe based in Livingstone would be staging daily performances at the site and at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport to entertain tourists and other visitors.
The village would house all arts, crafts, traditional food cuisine, fashion design, Zambian Musical Compact Disks (CDs) and cultural activities before as well as during and after the UNWTO General Assembly.
Speaking in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Nyirenda said most works for the project would be completed between April and June ahead of the UNWTO General Assembly.
"Government has been very supportive so far. They (Government) already released an advance payment of KR430,000 (K430 million) from KR4.1 million (K4.1 billion).
The ministries of Tourism and Arts and Transport, Works, Supply and Communication have been supportive to us," Mr Nyirenda said.
In a separate interview, Southern Province Arts and Cultural officer James Zimba expressed optimism that the multi-purpose theatre within the Village would be opened for use by artists before the UNWTO conference.
Mr Zimba said general works at the village were progressing well and the contract would finish within the stipulated timeframe.
"Interior works are almost being completed and ready for use. We are also doing landscaping and constructing a kitchen, restaurant, bar and outdoor stage while the fencing of the structure will be the last assignment.
Come June this year, artists will start performing within Maramba Cultural Village to prepare for the UNWTO summit," he said.
The village is expected to become a cultural centre where rich variety of Zambian music, dance theatre arts, visual arts and crafts would be performed and exhibited as well as marketed to local people and tourists.
Its construction plan is part of the Zambian Government's Development Plan to rehabilitate and construct cultural villages, theatre houses, art galleries and other venues where artists and cultural practitioners can train, produce and market their cultural goods and services locally and abroad.