Poorly maintained roads, walking long distances to school, poor water reticulation and high levels of crime were some of the issues that came out during the Watch on Kafue constituency. CHRISTINE CHISHA reports:
ONE by one, the youths, women and men including the area member of Parliament (MP) shared their experiences and highlighted the challenges that appeared to cut across residents of Kafue district.
The youths complained of long distances to school, â€œWe walk 64 kilometres a day to reach Naboye Secondary School. This has led to many drop outs especially among girls who are lazy to walkâ€.
These were the words of George Zulu a grade 11 pupil at Naboye Secondary School.
He said a nearby school will help many youths in Kafue acquire education and reduce on drop outs especially among girls.
For Ruth Simukonda, lack of tap water was posing a big threat to the breaking out of water borne diseases in the area.
â€œApart from poor water reticulation here in Shikoswe township, sewerages are also a challenge.Â We need a complete over haul of the sewer system. Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company should set up a treatment plant in Kafue,â€ she said.
Mrs Simukonda said every morning she wakes up very early to fetch water at a nearby borehole in the area.
Her sentiments were echoed by area MP Obvious Mwaliteta who said the supply of clean water was a challenge in many townships in his constituency.
Mr Mwaliteta said he was in talks with the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company and Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ensure that Kafue residents have access to clean and safe water.
Sibanda Kabuyi, a resident of Mungu village said while the issues of water and sanitation are cardinal, the area MP should lobby for more funds to work on the road from their village leading to Kafue town.
He said residents of Mungu find it difficult to transport their goods to Kafue district because the road is in a deplorable state.
â€œWe have seen that the township roads in Kafue town have been worked on. It will be helpful to small scale farmers if the main road leading to Kafue town is worked on. It is our biggest challenge,â€ he said.
Mr Kabuyi commended Government for putting up the first secondary school in the area that is under construction, â€œThe children in nearby villages namely Chikupi, Chanyanya, Mugabo and Kabweza will no longer have to walk long distance to access a school.â€
Supervisor of the Chikupi Day School under construction Sydney Mushiku said the school will enrol 1,500 pupils.
Mr Mushiku said the school will have a clinic, modern laboratories, home craft and 29 teachersâ€™ houses.
He said the Chikupi Day School will be the biggest secondary school in Kafue once completed.
And the area MP said what prompted him to stand in Kafue was to bring the district back to its lost glory.
â€œKafue town was once a potential town with so many industries but was slowly turning into a ghost town; unemployment levels are high because more companies are closed. The town needs economic transformation in trade and industry to be revamped and create the much needed jobs,â€ Mr Mwaliteta said.
He said the town requires a facelift and economic boost through quality investment. He is happy with the chain stores, who have put up shopping malls to ease the accessibility of goods and services adding that land is readily available for any investor.
Mr Mwaliteta is happy that in the three years PF has been in government the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) has been revamped and is operational.
He said there is also need to revamp the Kafue Textiles which is no longer operational.
The area MP said since he was elected in 2011, he ensured that there are projects going on in all the 11 wards.
He said from the Constituent Development Fund (CDF), works are being done on the drainages, upgrading of health facilities, additional of classroom blocks and works on the township roads.
Mr Mwaliteta praised Government for putting up the Chiawa Bridge which has helped residents in that area to cross at any time unlike in the past when they used to cross with a pontoon which would stop operating by 18:00 hours.
He also thanked the Government for the revival of the youth skill resource which will help many youths in the area to acquire skills such as carpentry, electrician, brick laying, plumbing and agricultural skills.
Mr Mwaliteta said he was also working with the traditional leadership to help conduct sensitising programmes and discourage early marriages.
The area MP, however, is concerned with high levels of crime in the area. He said recently, businessmen in the area lost goods worth millions after thieves broke in their shops.
He said the police have no transport to conduct patrols in the area and there are few police posts in the district.
Mr Mwaliteta also expressed concern with the many lives that are being lost due to road carnages.
He appealed to the council and the Road Development Agency to ensure that the main Lusaka- Livingstone road has speed humps and traffic lights to enable motorists reduce on speed.
Mr Mwaliteta who says will recontest the Kafue seat in 2016 said Kafue district has been awakened and will soon be the economic hub in Lusaka Province.
Facts about Kafue
Current MP: Obvious Summerton Mwaliteta
Estimated Population: 219,000 (2010 CENSUS)