Showing posts with label Samfya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samfya. Show all posts

Friday, 14 August 2015

Samfya: An Old Lakeside District Without A College


By Paul Shalala in Samfya
Location of Samfya District

The lakeside town of Samfya in Luapula Province lacks tertiary institutions to cater for young graduates who complete secondary school. 

The district which has a population of over 198, 000, does not have a college or university.

Despite having 128 primary, secondary and community schools, Samfya lacks tertiary institutions were its youths can further their education.

At present, youths travel over 70 kilometers to neighbouring Mansa District to further their education. 

The Lusaka-based University of Zambia has a branch in Samfya but thats not adequate to cater for the growing appetite for education among young people.

"I want the government to consider building a college here. We want to study the courses of our choice here in Samfya," said Mwila Mukuka, who is in Grade 10.

Another youth from Samfya has called for the newly elected Member of Parliament in the area to lobby education institutions to set up base in the town.

Anthony Kasandwe
"Am a distance education student with the University of Zambia. I want to urge our new MP Mr Kasandwe to help us with the establishment of a college here," said Mwape Kunda.

In a parliamentary by-election held on Thursday last week, Anthony Kasandwe was elected Member of Parliament for Bangweulu Constituency which is one of the two constituencies within Samfya District.

The other constituency is Chifunabuli whose lawmaker is Dr Mutaba Mwali, the Deputy Minister of Works, Supply and Communication.

MPs are capable to lobbying institutions that can establish education centers in their constituencies.

On top of that, MPs administer the Constituency Development Fund which can build a fully fledged college if all stakeholders in the constituency agreed to channel a certain year's allocation to that idea.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Lunga: A District Without A Viable Economy

Lake Bangweulu
By Paul Shalala in Lunga

Deep in the waters of Lake Bangweulu in Luapula Province is a new district and  maybe the only one completely surrounded by water.

The islands collectively called Lunga,  were declared a district by late president Michael Sata soon after he was elected President in 2011.

Access to this district is only by boat from Samfya district on the mainland.

By speed boat, the journey takes about two to three hours.

But for those travelling by canoes, it is a slow journey that takes two days.
On the southern side of Lake Bangweulu is a channel that passes through swamps leading to Lunga.

Over the years, this channel has been narrowing and making it difficult for large speed boats to pass through.

Government through the Ministry of Works and Supply has supplied this dredger to open up the channel and allow people to travel between Samfya and Lunga.

On either side of the channel are hundreds of people who live in these grass thatched houses.

These are nomadic fishermen who arrive on this channel around May every year.

They are experienced fishermen who travel all the way from Chilubi Island to come and fish and make money in Lunga.
The channel leading to Lunga

They only abandon these houses when the water levels rise in December.

However, the Lunga speaking people live on the four main islands.

The largest of them is Kasoma Lunga island which is also the seat of government.

This island hosts a school which also caters for the nearby islands.

It is also on this island where Chief Kasoma Lunga of the Unga people lives.

For those with mobile phones, Kasoma Lunga island is the only place where they can make phone calls in the district.

On the part of government, several infrastructure is being put up.

BGC Construction is building 20 medium cost houses at a cost of K9.6 million.

This project has employed over 400 women much to the delight of the area member of parliament.

Other construction projects in Lunga include ten more medium cost houses, 20 high cost houses and a post office.

A modern Police station is also coming up at the cost of K20 million.

A civic Centre is also under construction.
Kasoma Lunga Island

Lunga’s main economic activity and revenue earner is finishing.

However, the fish stocks on these islands and swamps are depleted as over fishing is the order of the day.

The district boasts of several fish stocks which have fed generations.

Another revenue earner which is yet to be exploited is tourism.

This district can also be a big host to other sports such as canoeing and spot fishing which tourists like so much.

A bit of exposure by the Zambia Tourism Board and travel agencies can connect this district to possible investors and visitors. 

With its abundant water resources, birds and aquatic life, Lunga maybe the next tourist destination for the country.

However, lack of exploitation for these resources is posing as a challenge for the Lunga District Council to raise funds to provide social amenities to the residents.

The council is however based not on the islands but in nearby Samfya District.

Despite these challenges, life in Lunga is normal and people here are hopeful of good things to come.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Calm Returns To Lunga After Police Officers Flee From Residents

By Paul Shalala in Lunga
Davies Mwila

Calm has returned to the newly created Lunga District in Luapula Province where Police officers ran away two months ago after residents ran amok. 

This followed the death of a woman who is suspected of having died of witchcraft and residents decided to pounce on five Police officers who were deployed on the islands. 

Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila and area Member of Parliament Emerine Kabanshi visited the district on Wednesday to assess the security situation. 

Mr Mwila, who was impressed to see residents living side-by-side with Police officers, commended the Luapula Province Police Command for restoring calm in the area and re-deploying five Police officers who earlier in May fled the islands. 

He also addressed dozens of residents on Kasoma Lunga island on the need for residents to be tolerant of the Police.

And when Mr Mwila paid a courtesy call on Chief Kasoma Lunga, he assured the chief that government will ensure that Lunga develops to the level of a fully fledged district.

And Lunga District Council Chairman Amos Mushili apologised for the resident's unruly behavior.

Lunga is only accessed by boat
"We have moved on as a district. We have stopped that behavior. We will never harass the Police again. These officers are now doing a commendable job," said Mr Mushili.

Lunga District is composed of several islands which are sorrounded by swamps created by Lake Bangweulu.

The area was declared a district by late President Michael Sata three years ago.

The district is only accessed by boat from Samfya District and it has no road or industry.

Residents live on the four main islands and they survive by fishing and cultivating a few crops such as maize and bananas.