FRANCIS LUNGU, Lusaka
IT IS rocky, rough, and usually impassable especially in the rainy season. Simply put, it is in a deplorable state.
This is the Luchembe-Kopa-Nchubula road, which stretches over 120 kilometres across Kanchibiya constituency in Muchinga Province. If upgraded by way of grading or even tarring, the road can help spur socio-economic development in the largely rural district of Kanchibiya. The road connects Luchembe and Kopa chiefdoms, which are in the north-western part of the newest province of Zambia. Kanchibiya was conferred the district status in 2017 and it derives its name from a river which snakes through the area to feed into Bangweulu wetlands.
The area predominantly thrives on agriculture but the poor state of the Luchembe-Kopa-Nchubula road hampers its potential for growth. Kanchibiya constituency brags of being home to Zambia’s only US$25 million Zampalm plantation, which is 90 percent owned by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), with the remaining 10 percent stake belonging to Zambeef. The Zampalm project was launched in 2009 by Zambeef and it was later taken over by IDC in 2017. The plantation has some 409,506 palms spread over 2,873 hectares, and 39,000 seedlings in the pre-nursery area of the main plantation. Initially when it was run by Zambeef, the project produced palm oil, the world’s most commonly used and versatile vegetable oil.With such huge investment domiciled in Kanchibiya, coupled with other agricultural activities, Chief Luchembe of the Bemba believes rehabilitating the road is the surest way of fast-tracking development in CLICK TO READ MORE