CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI, Kabwe
A VISIT to Bwacha, one of the two constituencies in Kabwe, reveals it is an undeveloped area with the road network in a deplorable state.
Bwacha and Kabwe Central Constituency make up Kabwe district, which is the capital of Central Province.
According to the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, Bwacha has a population of 83,721 of which 41, 357 are male and 42, 364 female.
Bwacha, which is almost twice the size of Kabwe Central Constituency, has 15 wards with Moomba ward with the highest population at 11, 038, followed by Kawama with 10, 234 and Muwowo ward with the least people at 1,792.
In terms of infrastructure development, Kabwe Central Constituency has a â€œlionâ€™s shareâ€ compared to Bwacha.
Most of the vital Government infrastructure in the provincial capital is in Kabwe Central Constituency, which also hosts the provincial and district administration.
Many people in Bwacha Constituency are hoping to see the complexion of the region change for the better.
â€œWhat we need here are better roads, and water is also a challenge,â€ says Loveness Phiri of Makululu, an unplanned township.
Much as Makululu is unplanned, Ms Phiri says people want development and improved service delivery.
â€œIf roads are worked on and the problem of water is addressed, then we will be more comfortable here,â€ Ms Phiri says, as her four colleagues agree with her.
Meanwhile, Isaac Umali of Bwacha, is happy the challenge of water in his area has been addressed.
However, he is also concerned about the poor state of roads, which in most cases were constructed decades ago.
â€œOur roads are in a bad state. We also need better roads like our friends in other townships across the country,â€ Mr Umali says.
Youth unemployment and lack of economic and social empowerment for woman are among the many challenges Mr Umali would like to see Government and area member of Parliament Sydney Mushanga address.
Mr Umali is also looking forward to seeing the establishment of skills training centres where youths can acquire survival skills in carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring and designing among other courses.
Unlike in past years, Mr Mushanga says Bwacha Constituency is receiving attention in terms of development.
Mr Mushanga is the first Patriotic Front (PF) MP for Bwacha Constituency. He was elected during the tripartite elections in 2011, taking over from Gladys Nyirongo.
Mr Mushanga says development is trickling in the constituency and people are seeing some changes in many sectors of the economy.
Mr Mushanga cites the road sector as one of the areas Government is prioritising in Bwacha.
ARZ is still in Kabwe, and Mr Mushanga says the company will soon commence road works in the constituency.
â€œMost of the township roads will be worked on,â€ Mr Mushanga says. â€œThis project will also include the drainage and walkways.â€
He says a stretch of 2.81 kilometres of the Makululu- Lukanga swamp road is the first road to be tarred in Bwacha in many years.
He says ARZ, which was engaged to rehabilitate and upgrade several township roads to bituminous standard, has also rehabilitated Mukuyu road from Bwacha to Ngungu.
Mr Mushanga adds that through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), streetlights on a stretch of 2,510 metres on Mukuyu road have for first time been erected in many years.
The project was executed at a cost of K359,491.25. Electrical Maintenance Limited (ELM) of Lusaka carried out the project.
Bwacha ward councillor Jackson Mwale is among the people who are elated that Mukuyu road, one of the link roads to Kabwe Central, has streetlights.
The civic leader is hopeful of witnessing more developmental projects taking place in different sectors in the ward and the rest of Bwacha Constituency.
The major training institutions in the constituency are the Zambia Correctional Services Training School and Kabwe Institute of Technology-formerly Kabwe Trades Training Institute.
Bwacha, Angelina Tembo, Raphael Kombe, Danford Chirwa and David Ramushe are the only secondary schools in the constituency.
However, government is constructing a first ever secondary school in Makululu.
This project will gobble K51,287,490.76 and is being undertaken by BSBK Limited. The project has reached an advanced stage and includes 24 housing units for teachers, an assembly hall, laboratories and a library.
â€œThis is good for the people of Makululu. Since independence, the area has been lacking a secondary school, and children have been covering long distances to access secondary school education,â€ Mr Mushanga notes.
And Kabwe district education board secretary Beard Mwanza is pleased with the construction of Makululu Day Secondary School.
Mr Mwanza says more classroom space will be created once the secondary school is completed.
The constituency has 13 primary schools, nine community schools and a private school. A primary school was recently upgraded into a secondary school.
â€œThe total number of male teachers in the constituency stands at 245, while female teachers are 688,â€ Mr Mwanza says.
Mr Mushanga added that he recently commissioned the electrification of Kangâ€™omba Primary School funded under CDF.
And through government support and the MPâ€™s personal efforts, various schools are being rehabilitated and supplied with building materials, furniture and learning materials.
The law-maker is happy that Hamududu Primary School, under a corporate social responsibility programme involving Samsung Electronics Company Limited and Habitat for Humanity Zambia, now has solar-powered internet to enhance information communication technology.
And contrary to the perception that Kabwe General Hospital is located in Kabwe Central Constituency, the truth is that it is hosted by Bwacha.
Ngungu Health Centre is another notable health institution in Bwacha and it is here that former United States President George W Bush Jr opened a cervical cancer centre in 2013.
Mr Mushanga observes that out of the 13 new health posts that government is constructing in Kabwe, eight will be constructed in Bwacha constituency.
A modern health centre has been constructed in Mukobeko township and plans are under way to construct a maternity ward at Bwacha health centre.
Water and Sanitation
Areas such as Bwacha, Chimanimani and Ngungu experienced erratic water supply until government established the Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company.
The water utility company has improved the provision of water to a number of townships but residents in areas like Makululu and Kawama are still facing challenges.
This has forced people in the affected areas to turn to shallow wells for water supply and this has resulted in the outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera.
And if Kabwe is to have a first ever airport, it will likely be established in Bwacha on the periphery of Chililalila ward.
It is hoped that when the undeveloped airstrip is upgraded, it will open up Kabwe through air transport and subsequently promote investment and economic growth in the provincial capital.
Tata Tannery is a major industry in the constituency. Zambia Correctional Services is another company in the area running Kalonga Milling Plant.
Most public service workers and those in the private sector operate in Kabwe Central, where most of the infrastructure is. Business persons also prefer to conduct their businesses in the central business distict.
However, some people run small businesses within their premises selling vegetables, charcoal, cooking and other food-stuffs.
1973-1991 – Richard Banda (UNIP)
1991-1996 – Wendy Sinkala (MMD)
1996-2001 – John Chisanga (MMD)
2001-2011 – Gladys Nyirongo (Heritage Party/ MMD)
Bwacha Constituency in development path
CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI, Kabwe