THE increase in population has its own merits and demerits. In Chongwe the greatest challenge of population growth is lack of decent jobs.
Everyone wants to make ends meet by engaging in trading in various merchandise at the market.
However, the market has become too small to accommodate all traders and to this effect some traders have opted to conduct their businesses outside the market peripheral even on the pavements of Great East Road.
What is worrying most is that some chicken and maize bran dealers have encroached on the Chongwe Primary School football pitch running track. On the Southern part, the football pitch is being encroached on by makeshift stalls and some light truck drivers who ferry passengers and goods to Kanakantapa. As if this is not enough, the local authority collect market levies from these traders making their stay on the ground “legal”. With the passage of time, these men and women will build permanent structures in the middle of the playing ground and that is when someone will wake up and demand to demolish the structures in the middle of the night.
Chongwe Primary School ground is centrally located and hosts many events such as World Teachers’ Day, Youth Day, International Women’s Day, Labour Day, to mention but a few. Apart from that, the field is used by the Chongwe Municipal Council for the Friday sports day, and it is also the home ground for division three Chongwe United. If those traders are not educated to stop trading on this pitch, dreams of producing a Kalusha Bwalya or Samuel Matete will be shattered.
The head teacher, let alone the DEBS, has no power to evict those traders, while the local authority, is paying a blind eye. Are they waiting for our men and women to build expensive structures then they will dream of demolishing as is the case with Zambia Railways Limited which wants to demolish structures built on its land in Kafue after thousands of Kwachas have been spent? Let’s try to be proactive rather than being reactive. It is said that a ‘stitch in time saves nine’, so let the local authority make hay while the sun shines. It is never too late. Prevention is better than cure. Don’t say you were not told.