CHRISTINE CHIHAME, Kitwe
KANTANSHI is one of the three constituencies in Mufulira on the Copperbelt Province with a population of 56,378.
Mufulira district is one of the major mining towns in the province with Kantanshi Constituency harbouring most mining activities.
And as such, most constituents depend on mines for their livelihoods but with the challenges the mining sector is currently facing that has resulted in massive job losses, many people have not been spared.
The other activities that support the livelihood of the constituents include chicken rearing, agriculture and money lending commonly known as â€˜Kalobaâ€™.
Kantanshi, which covers the entire town centre, shares boundary with Kankonyo and Mufulira constituencies within the district.
Minister of Works and Supply Yamfwa Mukanga is the area member of Parliament and was elected in 2006 on the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) ticket.
The constituency also covers the right side of Mokambo Road, the passage into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kantanshi constituency has 10 wards namely; Minambe, Murundu, Francis Mukuka, Maina Soko, David Kaunda, Bwembya Silwiza, Mulungushi, Bwafwano, Shinde and Leya Mukutu.
Eight of the 10 wards are held by PF while the other two are under MMD and an independent councillor.
Kantanshi is home to one of Zambiaâ€™s oldest mines – Mopani Copper Mines (MCM).
MCM is the major employer in the district but most of the workers have lost jobs following Glencoreâ€™s decision to lay off workers and close some of its mines across the world as part of its debt reduction strategy.
The mining firm has retrenched over 3,000 workers at its Mufulira and Kitwe mines with hundreds of contract workers also being declared redundant.
Government has, however, come up with a robust Copperbelt recovery plan aimed at addressing the plight of miners that have lost jobs by empowering them with land to venture into agriculture for their survival.
Government has also directed contractor China Henan, a Chinese firm engaged to undertake the C-400 road project on the Copperbelt, to give priority to ex-miners when the project hits the ground running next month end.
Kantanshi Constituency has seven secondary schools that include Ipusukilo, Kantanshi, Adult Technical, Mufulira, Pamodzi, Mopani and Modern secondary schools.
There are a number of primary schools namely Kasumba, Lima Middle, Minambe, Misambo, Mokambo, Mufulira, Mufulira Central, Mufulira Mine, Mupena, Murundu Mutanda Middle and Thangwatila.
The constituency has three tertiary institutions that include Mufulira Technical Training Institute, Mufulira Professional College and Kantanshi Training College, formerly known as Choan Skills.
There are also 14 private schools which include Eagle, Evergreen, Fenda Excel, Humpty Dumpty, Jack Moffat Memorial, Modern, Juppa Trust, Likam, Lina Memorial, Mopani, Ndanzi, New Beginnings, Paxhall and Victorious.
Government is currently constructing Mulundu Secondary School whose works started in 2013.
According to Mr Mukanga, the school will carter for over 10,000 pupils once completed.
Mr Mukanga said Government is also constructing a one- by-three classroom block at Twalubuka, Mupena and Mokambo Primary schools.
He said Government has also donated 10 computers to Mokambo Primary School.
Mary Tembo, a resident in the constituency expressed happiness with the PF government for its commitment to foster development in the education sector.
Ms Tembo said Governmentâ€™s decision to embark on the expansion of infrastructure in the existing schools will increase classroom space.
The constituency has one government hospital in Ronald Ross with seven clinics namely, Mupambe, Clinic One, Clinic Two, Clinic Three, Clinic Six, Murundu, Mukambo and Mupena clinics.
In line with its vision of taking quality health services closer to the people, the PF government is constructing a health post at a cost of K425,000 in Murundu ward and of the 650 health posts being constructed countrywide Kantanshi has been allocates three.
Njavwa Namukonde, one of the residents said the constituency has benefited a lot from the health sector and are happy with the PF government for taking health services close to the people.
Kantanshi has enjoyed a lot of infrastructure development under the leadership of Mr Mukanga and the PF government.
Mr Mukanga said in an interview that the constituency has gotten a fair share of the national cake and that residents are grateful to the PF for delivering its campaign promises.
Almost all the roads have been tarred in Kantanshi constituency within the last four years of the PF administration.
The constituency has enjoyed massive road infrastructure development in the last four years of the PF being in power with 20 kilometres of roads receiving facelift.
Mr Paul Tembo, a taxi driver, said motorists are grateful to the PF for improving the road network in Kantanshi Constituency and the entire district.
He said motorists used to encounter a lot of challenges especially during the rainy season because of the poor state of roads but the situation has now changed for the better.
â€œThis is a working government. We will vote for PF gain because this party cares for the poor,â€ Mr Tembo said.
Most of the residents in the constituency have ventured into agriculture as a source of livelihood.
Among the crops that are grown are cassava, maize, groundnuts, finger millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rice and vegetables. Others are involved in livestock and fish farming.
Government recently distributed 50 sewing machines and seven hammer mills to different women groups in the constituency to improve their socio-economic well-being.
Youths in the area have also been given block making machines to enable them generate income from the sale of blocks for them to support their families.
Ruth Mubanga, a member of one of the youth groups that benefited from the block making machine said before the PF government was ushered into office, most of the youths in the area were jobless and would engage themselves in illicit activities.
â€œAs youths, we are thankful to the PF government for empowering us with these machines that make blocks, it means even the nation as a whole is also empowered,â€ Ms Mubanga said.
And Joyce Banda commended Government for empowering women in the constituency with sewing machines.
â€œToday, we are able to even look after our families because we are now able to make money from the sewing machines that we were given,â€ Ms Banda said.
The constituency is home to nine-time Super Division champions Mufulira Wanderers, Muchindu, Young Ronald Ross United, Mupambe Sports Academy, Mufulira Cricket Club, Mufulira Rugby Club, Mufulira Swimming Club, Mufulira Squash Club and Mufulira Tennis Club.
Mr Mukanga has also introduced the Mukaya Mukanga Memorial Youth Soccer tournament named after his late father.
The constituency has one police station namely Mufulira Central Police Station and four police posts – Ronald Ross, Hospital, Old utta, Mukambo and Mupena.
Solar street lights have been installed on David Kaunda, Jomo Kenyatta Kwacha roads as well as Kash Avenue to curb crime in the area especially during the night.
WATER AND SANITATION
Government is rehabilitating the water and sewerage system in Mupena township at a cost of K7 million to improve sanitation in the area.
Government has also drilled five boreholes in the constituency; the development he said has cheered residents who have vowed to support President Lungu in the August 11 tripartite elections.
The constituency has two main markets namely Malela and Buseko with Bemba being the common local language spoken.
The constituency also boasts of a number of banks that include Zambia National Commercial Bank, Finance Bank, Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank and Zambia National Building Society.
Current MP: Yamfwa Mukangaâ€¦..2006 to date
Past MPs: John Chisata (1964-1969), Wilson Chakulya (1969-1973), Brian Silwizya (1973-1978), McDonald Mtine (1978-1983), David Nkhata (1983-1991), Elias Chipimo (1991-1996), Steve Chilombo (1996-2001), Danny Kombe (2001-2003), Alex Manda (2003-2004).
CHRISTINE CHIHAME, Kitwe