KNOW YOUR DISTRICT
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Pemba
IF THERE is one major good thing to have come out of Pemba since its creation as a district in June 2012, it is the water reticulation system which was done at a cost of K5 million.
â€œBefore the creation of the district, people here had problems accessing clean water. But now, we have a water reticulation plant and the residents are getting piped water,â€ Pemba district commissioner Reginald Mugoba says.
Pemba, which is 65 kilometres from Choma and 45 kilometres from Monze, is the most central place if you are moving from Lusaka to Livingstone on the â€˜Great South Roadâ€™.
In the 2010 census, it had a population of about 64,918 and 11,585 households. The largest number of households can be found in Hamaundu where there are about 3,264 while the least is in Pemba itself with about 513. Females account for 52 percent of the population with the males getting the other 48 percent.
The district, which shares the same name with Pemba Island, also known as The Green Island in Arabic, which is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying within the Swahili Coast in the Indian Ocean, lies about 1,000â€“1,400 metres above sea level in the Zambezi escarpment. It is surrounded by Gwembe, Sinazongwe, Monze, Choma and Namwala districts.
Its main economic activity is agriculture, with most of the people involved in the growing of maize and rearing of cattle, goats and sheep.
A few also keep chickens while groundnuts and sunflower are also grown at a smaller scale. Those involved in dairy farming supply their milk to Parmalat.
On the education front, the district has 64 schools of which 61 are primary schools. The secondary schools are Pemba Secondary School in Pemba ward, Jembo Mission School in Hamaundu ward and Ndondi Secondary School in Nachibanga ward.
There is also Kanchomba in Hamaundu which is being upgraded into a secondary school. Ndondi was recently given some money to help it upgrade into a fully-fledged secondary school. Dormitories for girls and boys are being constructed as well as science laboratories. Kanchomba is another school undergoing an upgrade, and is set to be a day school. A 1×3 classroom block is being constructed as well as six teachersâ€™ houses.
The other school getting some attention in the district is Namakwenga Primary School which is having a 1×3 classroom block as well as six teachersâ€™ houses.
In terms of higher learning institutions, there is Kasiya Business and Secretarial College while in Hamaundu there is Kanchomba Farm Institute and then Jembo Bible School, which is run by the Pilgrim Wesleyan Church of Zambia.
Kasiya Business and Secretarial College, located 11 kilometres off Mampaza Road, west of Pemba, is graded as a level one college by the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA).
In terms of health facilities, almost each of the six wards has a clinic. There is Pemba main clinic, Kasiya clinic, Kanchomba clinic, Muzoka clinic, Mooya clinic and Ndondi clinic.
However, six new health posts are being built across the six wards in the district, which only has one constituency, Pemba itself. The Ministry of Health has already contracted those to work on the health posts and are on site.
According to Mr Mugoba, the creation of Pemba as a district has worked in its favour.
â€œPreviously, as a sub-district under Choma, we used to share resources with the parent district. But now, weâ€™ve our own allocation. This is a plus to the people of Pemba.
â€œIn the past, health services were not that efficient as we only had male and female nurses and no medical doctor. But now, we have a medical doctor. And also, all the departments such as water, forestry, agriculture, education, veterinary, social welfare and community development are fully fledged,â€ he says.
â€œIn agriculture, people used to travel to Choma to get inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme, but this is not the case now. In fact, in the history of Pemba, the Ministry of Agriculture this year has managed to do what others failed, and that is to deliver inputs on time. We had inputs as early as June.â€
Since its transformation into a district, a number of projects are being undertaken. They include construction of bridges, roads, rehabilitation of clinics and houses while the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) is building towers to enhance communication in the area.
Pemba, which hosts the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation television transmitter station for Southern Province, has no radio station of its own but depends on Radio Chikuni in Monze and Sky FM in Mazabuka.
Going forward, it wants a situation where it would be self-sufficient.
KNOW YOUR DISTRICT