CHOMBA MUSIKA, Kawambwa
SITUATED 1,200 kilometres from Zambiaâ€™s capital, Lusaka, is Kawambwa constituency.
Kawambwa constituency is situated in Luapula Province occupying a surface area of 9,303 square kilometres and 1,200 metres above sea level.
Geographically, Kawambwa, an agro-economic zone, lies on the plateau of Muchinga escarpment about 245 kilometres north of Luapulaâ€™s capital, Mansa.
Kawambwa sits at the junction of roads to Nchelenge, Mporokoso, Mushota and Mansa, and a tarred road to Mbereshi linking with the Zambia Way, the main tarred highway of the Luapula Province through Kazembe (Mwansabombwe) and Mansa.
With a population of 87,341 as per 2010 census, the district is divided into two constituencies namely Kawambwa central and Pambashe constituency.
Kawambwa constituency has 19,083 registered voters who are in the fourteen wards namely; Ilombe, Pambashe, Chibote, Kabanse, Mulunda, Lubungo, Senga, Iyanga, Luena, Fisaka, NgÃ³na, Ntumbachushi, Kabanda and Kawambwa.
Since 2011, the Kawambwa Central parliamentary seat has been held under Nickson Chilangwa, of the Patriotic Front (PF) party. He scooped the seat from MMDâ€™s Elizabeth Chitika-Molobeka.
And Mr Chilangwa is happy that his constituency is receiving a fair share of development from the time the PF took over Government in 2011.
The parliamentarian, whose vision is to have a constituency with a diversified economy, is confident the Constituency Development Funded (CDF) projects being implemented in his constituency will improve the lives of his electorate.
The projects being implemented using the CDF are largely in the education and health sectors.
Kawambwa district council CDF committee member James Kalamba said some of the projects being implemented in the wards include construction of a 1×3 classroom block has been completed at a cost of K157,000 in T-estate area of Luena ward and another 1×3 classroom block being constructed at St Maryâ€™s Secondary School at a total cost of K155,000.
To address accommodation, about six houses for teachers have been built in several schools in the constituency. A 1×3 classroom block at Kalamba primary school in Ntumbachushi ward is being built at a cost of K158,000.
In Kabanse ward, construction of a 1×3 classroom block and a teacherâ€™s house at Chasanga Primary School is ongoing.
Another 1×3 classroom block and a teacherâ€™s house have been built at Chabanya Primary School in Ilombe ward.
Still in education, construction of a 1×3 classroom block and three toilets have been completed at Chungu Primary School in Senga ward.
And in the health sector, construction of Sinonde and Ndenke health posts plus a maternity wing in Senga ward have been completed.
At a cost of K158,000, a juvenile cell has been constructed in Ngâ€™ona ward to ensure juvenile offenders are kept in a conducive environment.
In line with the parliamentarianâ€™s indication that the constituency was receiving a fair share of development from the central Government, Mr Kalamba explained that all the wards are benefiting from the CDF, especially through the construction of education-related infrastructure.
And Kawambwa district council secretary Jonax Ngoma also confirmed that owing to construction and upgrading of classrooms in various wards, a survey indicated that a high number of children in the constituency have been motivated to attend class.
â€œThe CDF support to the education sector has increased seeing a number of schools and classrooms being built leading to increased enrolment of pupils in schools, distance to the nearest school has been shortened,â€ Mr Ngoma said.
Apart from the CDF projects being implemented, Mr Chilangwa is happy that Government has embarked on various development projects aimed at revamping the economic status of the constituency and improving the lives of the people.
Government has revamped the once defunct Kawambwa tree plantation, which was stripped of its vital assets by KHUMO Holdings of Zimbabwe, the previous owners of the tea company where workers have been working without pay for the last ten years now.
â€œGovernment plans to revive the moribund Kawambwa Tea estate and transform it into a fully-fledged producer of the commodity will create employment and improve the economy here,â€ Mr Chilangwa said.
The parliamentarian also said the commissioning of the Bio Fuel Plant is another developmental milestone that will improve the welfare of the residents of Kawambwa.
The Project which is scheduled to start production in 2017 will produce 120 million litres of bio-ethanol annually and create over 600 New Jobs for locals.
During the launch of the project recently, Sunbird Bio Energy Africa chief executive officer Richard Bannett said the plant will be producing 120 million litres of fuel per year.
â€œOther Government projects aimed at improving the welfare of people here include the recently launched 48 Marine Unit in Nchelenge which will secure our water bodies.
â€œAnd to improve the road network, Government has embarked on the upgrading of 20.5 kilometres worth of township roads, the old Mansa road and also improving the feeder roads in the district so as to enhance trade,â€ Mr Chilangwa said.
UNIK Construction Company is also upgrading the over 100 kilometres economically viable Kawambwa-Luwingu road to bituminous standard.
The old Mansa road will also be upgraded.
Away from the roads, Mr Chilangwa said Government is also overhauling the water reticulation system in the district, which has been grappling with poor water supply. The contractor has already begun metering the houses.
And to ensure the health of residents is guaranteed, Government has embarked on the construction of a district hospital at a cost of over K13 million to add to the 16 clinics in the constituency.
The construction of phase one of the district hospital, which is at roof level, is expected to be completed next year.
â€œThe construction of the first ever district hospital since independence by the Government is a welcome development because it was costly for us to travel to Mansa to seek specialised medical services,â€ Mrs Jane Bwalya, a resident, said.
To further meet the aspirations of the people, Mr Chilangwa said 20 women and youth clubs were this year empowered with K5,000 each.
On investment opportunities, Mr Chilangwa appealed to the business community to invest in the hospitality industry, which boasts a lush green landscape and tourist attractions including two waterfalls, Lumangwe Falls on the Kalungwishi River and Ntumbachushi Falls on the Ngona River.
The Lumangwe Falls are sometimes referred to as a miniature version of Zambiaâ€™s most famous falls, the Victoria Falls.
CHOMBA MUSIKA, Kawambwa