Mafinga is a scenic and vibrant district with a wealth of natural beauty, a moderate economy, a unique cultural and linguistic mix but with a low quality of life. Mafinga District was created from the former Isoka East Constituency in February 2011. Mafinga is situated between longitude 32’, 29’ and 33’, 50’ East and Latitude 9’, 45’ and 10’, 49, 2’ South.Nearly 90 per cent of the District is rural. It comprises 4,134 square kilometres spanning 154 kilometres from east to west and about 1,134km from Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. The District borders with Malawi. Districts bordering Mafinga include Nakonde, Isoka and Chama.
Mafinga District Administration Centre
Mafinga is quite rich in vegetation and has rich loam soil in almost all its areas. However, in the Luangwa valley, there are thick woodlands and mixed grassland, which is characterized with Miombo, Mopani and Mukwa trees. These have been used in timber production. In addition, some parts of the valley have a type of Mopani trees, which have thorny shrubs. Mafinga has also a lot of seasonal streams with bamboos as a common feature while in grasslands; there is a mixture of bamboos, tall (elephant) and short grasses.
Mafinga has various perennial streams like Nsami, which are used for grazing and gardening. Some of the streams run throughout the year (for example Kalanga stream in Muyombe). Being a new district, some of these streams will be assessed on the potential for a dam to supply water. In addition, the Luangwa River, which separates Isoka and Mafinga is big and fast flowing and leaves pools of water during the dry season.
Between 2007 and 2010, the recorded rainfall pattern recorded ranged from 838.1mm to 974.0mm. The 2008/2009 rain season recorded the highest rainfall of 974.0mm with a total of 84 rainy days. In the coolest months of May to July, the temperature goes as low as 6.5 Degrees Celsius, while in the hot season; it goes up to 35.9 Degrees Celsius.
Mafinga District is mainly mountainous but can be classified into three physiographical zones. These are the plateau East of MuchingaEscarpment, The Luangwa Valley, Hilly and flat land.
The District has a population density of 16.0 inhabitants per square km. According to the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the district had a population of 62,748 people with an annual population growth rate of 4.6 Percent.
The trunk road to Mafinga from Nakonde is tarred 60km in Isoka District and only 5km tarred in Mafinga District from the bridge separating Isoka and Mafinga up to a nearby village. The rest of the road is in a dilapidated state and is usually impassable during rainy season as culverts are washed away.
Most feeder roads in Mafinga are in bad state, making accessibility to certain areas difficult. This situation has hampered delivery of services to certain areas.
- Transportation of patients, especially those in critical conditions is difficult.
- Farmers find it costly to transport their agricultural produce for sale
Transportation of construction and other materials is problematic since some areas are cut off, especially during the rainy.
Communication and Power
The District never had power until recently when hydroelectricity power was connected through Malawi. MTN, Airtel and Zamtel mobile Telecommunication coverage are available in the District including postal services.
Mafinga is a source of the Luangwa River, making it a potential tourist destination.
There are also ecological sites such as Mafinga, Mukutu and Mpando hills as well as the Finga Hills Falls which are potential sites for tourism.
These landmarks, offer tourism activities such as sightseeing, mountain hiking and camping. Mwenewesi and Malugule hot springs, in addition to wild animals such as monkeys in the Mafinga Hills and Hyenas in Thendele area, also offer potential for tourism.
Mafinga is predominantly an agricultural region. There are 23,567 small-scale farmers growing maize, beans, rice, millet, groundnuts, tobacco and cassava.
They also venture into fish farming and rear cattle, goats and chickens. The government is fully involved in the agricultural activities through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency, which offers market services for the farm produce.
The district has four secondary schools, 50 primary schools, 23 pre-schools, 17 community schools, nine adult learning centres and eight open learning centres.