You are currently viewing Chifunabuli: Rich land headed for distinction
THE Lubwe water scheme, a project by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in partnership with the Water Aid in Chifunabuli constituency in Samfya district. PICTURES: NKOMBO KACHEMBA

Chifunabuli: Rich land headed for distinction

IN THE northern part of Samfya district in Luapula Province, lies Chifunabuli constituency, a land with a rich historical background.
The constituency has a population of 80,000, as captured by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) during the 2010 census out of which 34,000 are registered voters.
It is in Chifunabuli that the white Catholic fathers from Canada first established a mission called Lubwe, named after the rocky landscape they found upon their arrival in 1905.
Today, a red brick church, built by the missionaries in 1905, still stands strong on the banks of Lake Chifunabuli.
Chifunabuli derives its name from a tale of a cruel man, who would go in villages, beating people, bullying them and confiscating their belongings.
It is said that on a fateful day, villagers ganged up against him, seized him, tied a heavy stone to his legs, bundled him on a canoe and threw him into the lake where he drowned.
When the ancestors accomplished their mission, they named the place Chifunabuli, which means, breaking the chain of brutality.
Chifunabuli has five traditional leaders – Chiefs chitembo, Mbulu, Mulongwe, Mwansakombe and Mwewa.
The constituency has 10 wards namely; Chifunabuli, Chinkutila, Chishi, Kafumbo, Kapamba, Kasaba, Kasansa, Kasongole, Masonde and Mbabala.
The current Member of Parliament (MP) is Andrew Mwali Mutaba, who assumed office on a Patriotic Front (PF) ticket in 2011 alongside the late President Michael Sata.
The constituency is blessed with abundant water bodies of lakes Chifunabuli, Kasongele and Kafumbo with the Mbabala and Chishi islands on Lake Bangweulu.
The abundance of the water bodies make fishing the main economic activity in the constituency with farming activities carried out on a small-scale.
The constituency also has mineral deposits such as manganese in Masonde ward, in Chief Mwewa’s area, where mining activities are conducted by small-scale miners.
Chifunabuli is also endowed with soft and hardwood though timber processing companies are absent in the area.
Charcoal making is rampant with forests being depleted at a fast rate.
The constituency has 144 primary schools and six secondary schools, out of which, three are boarding schools.
Government is constructing Miponda and Kasaba secondary schools to ensure more people are given chance to complete their secondary education and contribute to Zambia’s socio-economic development.
Works are currently on-going at Shikamushile Secondary School where a classrooms are being constructed at a cost of K56,000 using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Another classroom block is under construction at Kapumpe Community School using CDF at a cost of K27,000 with an extra classroom block also being put up at Chimanda Primary School at a cost of K20,000.
To ensure more pupils have access to primary education, Government is upgrading Mumamba Community School in Kasaba ward with the construction of a classroom block at a cost of K20,000 using CDF.
Government has also electrified 12 schools in the constituency.
However, more still needs to be done in terms of rehabilitation of schools as most of them are old with dilapidated infrastructure.
Lubwe boys and Lubwe girls primary schools, are some of the schools which need a facelift.
Lubwe Boys School head teacher Scholastica Chisanga said in an interview that K250,000 is needed to rehabilitate the school, which was built in 1947.
“Lubwe Boys Primary School is one of the oldest schools in Chifunabuli. These structures you are seeing here, were built by the white missionaries when they first settled here in the early 1900s.They need to be rehabilitated,” Ms Chisanga said.
And Lubwe Girls Primary School head teacher Judith Nkolonga said the school was established in 1953 and is in dire need of repair.
The constituency has Lubwe Mission Hospital in chief Chitembo’s area and Kasaba Mission Hospital in Chief Mwansakombe’s locality.
The constituency has 10 health centres, while three are under construction in various chiefdoms with a clinic being constructed in Kasansa ward at a cost of K51,000 using the CDF.
Mothers’ shelters have been constructed at Miponda and Mbalala rural health centres at a cost of K20,000 and K30,000, respectively.
Mr William Mwansa, 68, a neighbourhood heath committee member, appealed to the Government to build more health centres in Chifunabuli for people to easily access health services.
He said most expectant mothers are forced to deliver in their homes due to lack of transport to take them to health centres which are in far flung areas.
“This area is vast but we only have a few health posts. This means people have to travel long distances to access medical services. Some patients do not have money to pay for transport, instead, they are ferried on wheel barrows to the clinic,” Mr Mwansa said.
He also said there is need to build toilets at a mothers’ shelter at Lubwe Mission Hospital because people waiting for patients usually defecate in open places.
The main crop in Chifunabuli is cassava, while maize is cultivated on a small-scale due to lack of resources to buy farm implements.
Government is also constructing two dip tanks in Kasongole and Kampambe ward to curb livestock diseases in the area.
Patriotic Front (PF) Kawana ward women chairlady, Agatha Musonda, appealed to the government to increase the number of beneficiaries under the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP).
Ms Musonda said people in the area lack resources to engage in extensive farming and only grow cassava for home consumption.
“People are interested in farming but the challenge is lack of inputs. We need a lot of support as residents of Chifunabuli in terms of improving the agricultural activities in this area,” Ms Musonda said.
She called on Government to empower women clubs in the area with resources through its various empowerment programmes to raise their economic status.
Government under the Link Zambia 8000 project has started working on the Musaila-Luwingu road in Chifunabuli. The road, which will link the area to Northern Province, will be upgraded to bituminous standards.
And Dr Mutaba, who is the area of Member of Parliament, said the Musaila-Luwingu road is of economic importance to the area because it will link Luapula Province to the Northern Province.
“The Musaila-Luwingu road is a very important project. Once the works on the road are complete, we are going to see more people coming here to invest in the area,” he said.
Most people in Chifunabuli depend on fishing and with the depleted fish stocks in the water bodies, poverty levels are likely to increase at household level.
“The depleted fish stocks in our water bodies have had a negative impact on the lives of our people. Fish is a source of income and protein for our people here in Chifunabuli,” Dr Mutaba said.
He said changing the mind-set of the people from fishing to farming remains one of the biggest challenges that government faces.
The area has no tour facilities despite having abundant water bodies.
Dr Mutaba is hopeful that with the opening up of roads, more people will be willing to invest in the tourism sector.
Chifunabuli has no piped water but only the Lubwe water scheme, which supplies water to Chifunabuli ward only. People usually draw water from boreholes. Each ward has 20 boreholes.
Clement Mwananshiku1968- 1969 (UNIP)
Alex Shapi 1969-1972 (UNIP)
Luke Mwananshiku 1972-1975- (UNIP)
Clement Mwananshiku 1975-1989 (UNIP)
Antony Ndalama 1989-1991(UNIP)
Enerst Mwansa 1991-2001 (MMD)
Kennedy Sakeni 2001-2006 (MMD)
Enerst Mwansa 2006-2011 (PF)