Celebrities jump in Luangwa River

COMEDIAN Kabova (left), gospel singer Esther Chungu (middle) and actress Mwaka Mugala aka Zuba at Protea Hotel in Lusaka last week. PICTURE: SHIKANDA KAWANGA

WHAT have celebrities got to do with the Luangwa River?
It is a question you should pose to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). No, the question should also be asked to the likes of television stars Cleo Ice Queen, Christopher Katongo, Petita Mwanza, Mwaka Mugala, Petersen, Wezi, Maureen Lilanda, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Mubita Nawa, James Sakala, Kabova, Catharine Phiri and Esther Chungu.
That bunch has a rapper, an actress, singers, a comedian, a footballer, a boxer, a model, a motivational speaker and a writer.
Last week, they met at Protea Towers, not for entertainment, but to endorse the ‘Keep the Luangwa Flowing, a campaign by WWF. The argument being that the Luangwa River, one of the free flowing rivers in Zambia, is now threatened by hydro-power development, deforestation and commercial agriculture.
The influencers met in the evening for a cocktail and discussed various issues on how the Luangwa River can remain a free-flowing. Each celebrity explained why they wanted to endorse the campaign and what they will do to help keep the river flowing.
Issues like regular social media engagement, traditional media engagement, use of their images for campaign materials, local awareness within Lusaka and outreach events in Luangwa where part of the issues noted.
As interactions went on in a cozy environment, the influencers took to social media and posted their pictures and awareness messages using the hashtag #Keep the Luangwa Flowing.
The event was characterised with awareness videos on how the river, animals and people around Luangwa are slowly losing the nature.
But that was only the beginning as the group will travel to Luangwa for a one on one campaign with the people of Luangwa.
Nachilala Nkombo, WWF country director, says Luangwa River, a major tributary to the Zambezi River, was identified as one of the last free-flowing rivers in the country and one of the largest unaltered rivers in southern Africa.
“Throughout history, societies have gone to great lengths to maximise the benefits of rivers by taking advantage of every drop,” she explained. “We build dams, levees, diversions, and generally alter natural flows by maximising on areas of land for irrigation, electricity, drinking water, industrial water supply and transportation of goods and people.”

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