Columnists

Kaoma Central earmarked for change

A ROAD under construction in Kaoma Central Contituency. Right is Member of Parliament Sitwala Sitwala.

Focus on Members of Parliament:
CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
LOCATED 400 kilometres west, from the capital Lusaka, is Kaoma district.The district has two constituencies namely Kaoma Central and Mangango.

Kaoma Central Constituency is not different from some constituencies in the rural areas still struggling with high levels of poverty, poor road network, and inadequate health and education facilities.
Martha Chibesa, a resident of Kanabilumbu area is appealing to area MP to push for communication towers in her area to enable residents communicate in view of the implementation of the electronic voucher system under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
She also appealed for a community school in her area as children learn under trees and in classrooms without roofs, posing a challenge for learners during the rainy season.
“Our children learn under harsh conditions, the nearest school that is in a better condition is about 20 kilometres,” she said.
Kaoma Central Member of Parliament Sitwala Sitwala however is optimistic that in the next four years, the face of the constituency will change.
“Sometimes I feel that Kaoma Central Constituency is forgotten in terms of development. The performance of an MP is measured in the development projects that he or she spearheads in the constituency”, he said.
General Sitwala, however, said despite the slow pace at which development projects are going, he is not discouraged and ensures that the little resources that go in the constituency are shared equally among the six wards.
The MP has since distributed equally the K700,000 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) fund among the six wards in his constituency. The ward development committees have been advised to spend most of the money towards construction and rehabilitating of schools and health posts.
In Kashamu area of Kaoma central, most money will go towards the construction of only one house because there is no accommodation for health personnel.
The MP is hopeful that more schools will be roofed and classroom blocks be constructed so that learners have a decent environment.
Gen Sitwala is also concerned about the poor road network in the area especially roads such as the Kaoma-Mongu road and the Kaoma-Kasempa road.
The MP said the Kaoma-Kasempa road is of economic value to the country as it will reduce the distance of transporting copper to the Caprivi highway of Namibia from Lumwana compared to the Chingola route.
He appealed to the government to urgently work on the Mongu-Kaoma stretch which is in a bad shape to avoid road carnages.
In the area of supply of clean and safe water, Gen Sitwala is grateful to the Japan Tobacco International whose Corporate Social Responsibility programme led to the drilling of 50 boreholes around Kaoma Central Constituency.
“I will continue lobbying government for more boreholes to be drilled in my constituency”, he said.
The health sector also faces a number of challenges such as poor staffing, among others.
The constituency has only two Congolese doctors out of an establishment of six.
The doctors attend to emergency cases such as surgeries, post-mortems ward rounds, complications in labour and outpatients have to wait for hours to be attended to.
The hospital in the constituency was designed as an urban clinic but later converted to a district hospital. It has a small scanner and X-ray while the theatre cannot cope with the growing population. The lighting in the theatre is poor for doctors to conduct delicate surgical procedures.
A spot check at the hospital revealed that there is no waiting shelter for mothers who take their children for Under Five and they end up crowding the hospital corridors.
The maternity ward has a huge crack which shakes the roof and causes panic when strong winds blow.
The fisheries and livestock sector, however, received K995,000 from the pilot programme for Climate Resilience to go towards the rehabilitation of the Hatchery unit facility and upgrading of the Kaoma fish farm.
Out of the total amount, K497,500 will go towards the rehabilitation of the Hatchery unit and upgrading of the fish farm while K497,600 will go towards the goat breeding centre project in Mangango constituency of Kaoma.
The constituency has commenced the production of fingerlings to supply fish to farmers in the district.
Prisoners will be contracted to clear the fish ponds of grass. The fingerlings are meant to restock rivers such as the Zambezi, Luena and Luanginga in the province and whose stocks have been depleted by fishing activities.

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