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C h a m a

Location

Chama district is located on the North-Eastern part of Zambia and its town Centre is 940 KM away from the Capital City of Lusaka and about 250 KM away from the Provincial Headquarters Chinsali. The district covers an area of 17,164 sq. Km making it one of the largest district in Zambia and largest in Muchinga province. The district stretches between latitudes 100 15’ to 120 10’ South and longitude 320 40’ to 330 10’ East. It shares boundary with   Musalangu GMA, an international boundary with Malawi on its eastern part, on the northern part the district shares its border with Mafinga, Isoka and Chinsali districts, on the western part it boarders Shiwang’andu district, Mpika districts is on the south-western part while Lundazi district is on the southern part of Chama district.

Constituency and Wards

The District has two Constituencies namely Cham North and Chama South.

Chama north has twelve (12) Wards namely Mazonde, Nkhankha, Luangwa, Chisunga, Ndunda, Mbazi, Manthepa, Mpalausenga, Kalinkhu, Kamphemba, Mwalala and Muchinga while Chama south has ten (10) Wards namely Chipala, Bazimu, Mabinga, Lupamazi, Lumezi, Chibungwe, Lunzi, Vilimukulu, Chilenje and Mapamba.

Traditional Leadership

The main inhabitants of the district are the Senga speaking people; the district has also got the Bemba and Namwanga speaking people who are found in the northern part of Chama. Customarily the people live in villages headed by headmen on behalf of their respective chief’s. There are seven Chiefs headed by Senior Chief Kambombo, the chiefs under senior chief Kambombo include:

  • Chief Tembwe
  • Chief Chifunda
  • Chief Lundu
  • Chief Chibale
  • Chief Chikwa
  • Chief Mulilo

The culture of the people is generally homogenous with respect to values, artifacts and human relations. The people perform various rituals associated with birth, death, marriage, thanks giving for good rains and harvest through their ancestral spirits.

Chama District has seven (7) Chiefdoms, there are four (4) Chiefdoms in Chama North Constituency and three (3) Chiefdoms in Chama South Constituency.

Physical Characteristics

Chama district sits on Muchinga escarpment which running across but parallel to Luangwa River which demarcates the valley and the plateau. The escarpment lies in the west and low range hills in the east forming the famous Luangwa valley.

The district lies in Agro-ecological Region II characterized by low rainfall which is characterized by hot rainy season from late November to April; a cool-dry season, from May-August; and a hot-dry season, from September to early November. The mean annual rainfall is in the range of 700-900 mm. The district often experiences frequent drought and floods.

Demographic Characteristics

Chama district has a 2020 projected population of about 161,658 (CSO, 2010, population and demographic projections 2011-2035). This population has a female representation of 51% (82,227) and 49% (79,431) male representation, with the growth rate of about 3.3%.

Soil and Vegetation

The sub-soil is clay though covered with a thin layer of sand on top.  Loamy soil is found in the areas along the Kamphemba riverbanks. The wide spread clay soil becomes easily waterlogged when it rains continuously for a few days and dries up quickly due to excessive heat. However, the water logging areas provide suitable rice growing paddies. The Loamy soil along the Kamphemba River banks provides fertile areas for farming.

There are three main types of predominant vegetation under Chama District namely;

(a) Mopani woodlands which are infertile and found on poor sandy loam soil,

(b) Miombo woodlands, found on hilly highlands with moderate fertile soils and

(c) Munga, locally known as Musangu usually found on fertile alluvial soils where human settlements are mostly concentrated.

However, it is worth to note that there are also minor occurrences constituting watersheds and small patches of palm communities and traces of grass land found along the river banks and surrounding areas.

The district has four (4) gazetted National forests and a Local Forest covering a total area of 333, 566 Hectares namely

  1. Lundazi
  2. Makutu,
  3. Chire,
  4. Fibale, and
  5. Pondo (local forest) Forest respectively.

Customary Land has a large portion of open forest whose size is not yet known. However, a large portion of the district is a valley where the Luangwa North National Park is situated.

Socio-economic Infrastructure

Energy

Chama District imports electricity from Malawi, ZESCO is responsible for the supply of this imported power in Chama district. Lately Malawi has been facing many challenges in generating power, hence the frequent power cuts. To mitigate this, ZESCO brought a generator set to supplement on the power supply as Chama District awaits connection to the National grid.

Communication

Chama District is connected to ZAMTEL, Airtel and MTN telecommunication infrastructure making it easy for people to access information by landline phones, mobile phones and internet. Chama District’s Postal Service are provided by Zambia Postal Service (ZAMPOST) both locally and internationally.  This service is provided in the district while the rural communities have to walk long distances to the post office.  It is also affected by the poor, equipment and Road infrastructure to Chipata via Lundazi.

Transport

Chama district can be accessed either through eastern province via Lundazi Road or through Muchinga province via Matumbo road. Apart from road Chama district has an air stripe allowing small planes for those who may want to use air transport.

Water Supply and Sanitation

Township water supply and sanitation services in the district is provided by Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSCo) which provide piped water system. The Chama council is tasked with providing water supply and sanitation services in rural areas through boreholes, permanent wells and Ventilated Pit Latrines (vip). Despite the district being located on the plateau, there numerous challenges with regards to  provision of safe water due to  sandy loam soil formation which collapses when drilling boreholes. Additionally, ground water drawn by hand pumps fitted with GI riser pipes and rods contains high levels of iron which affects the water quality resulting to most of the boreholes especially Indian MarkII being abandoned in some areas.

Broadcasting Services

Chama district has one (1) local Radio Stations namely ‘Kwenje FM Community Radio Station. However, the district is also able to receive radio and television signals from Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Multichoice (DSTV), MUVI Television and Star Times.

Health Facilitie

Currently, Chama district has a District Hospital, nineteen (19) Rural Health Post and (23) Health Posts.

Education           

The District Education Board Secretariat (DEBS) has 119 Schools comprising ten (10) secondary schools, 36 community schools and 73 primary schools. There no tertiary education facilities in the district.

Financial Institutions

The financial institutions available in the district include National Savings and Credit Bank (NatSave) Bank only. Other institutions offering financial services at a small scale include the Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST), GS cash services and Micro-Finance and Tottengram Zambia.

Shopping Malls

Chama has no shopping malls. However, small scale shops exist to serve the local people and tourists.

Hospitality Industry

Chama is a game management district, historic geological resources (Palaeontological Site, Anthropological Sites and archaeological sites. This has driven few private sectors to construct lodges which offer competitive accommodation services and other cultural and modern entertainment to their respective clients

Potential Areas for Investment in Chama District

Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the backbone potential investment for Chama district, the district covers about 17,164 sq.km of arable land, most of its land is well watered which is suitable for different kinds of cultivation, animal husbandry with vast unutilized land and adequate water resources.

The people of Chama mainly grow Rice, Maize, Groundnuts and Cotton.

Fisheries and Livestock Development

Chama district produces two types of fish namely spotted bream and green headed bream.

Chama has approximately 50 fish farmers, who can not meet the demand as a result the residents depends on Lundazi district as the main source of fish, fingering and fish products.

Potential investment in the fish industry exist around the 30 dambos in the district which are under utilised.

Chama district has several farmers involved in Poultry, Piggery, Cattle ,Goat and Sheep production and the majority of livestock farmers are small scale farmers practising extensive management of all types of livestock.

On average a household keep 10(ten) village chickens, 5(five) goats, 4(four) cattle, 10(ten) pigs. However, there is no organized market system or Livestock Market Centre where farmers can take their livestock for easier and quicker sales. As a result, farmers usually sell livestock within their communities.The main use of livestock is the source of income and consumption.

Forestry

There exists a mosaic type of vegetation on the valley floor constituting of Riparian, Montane, Munga and Itigi. Other vegetation types in the district include riverine, shrublands, grasslands and riverine vegetation. The riverine vegetation found along the rivers, streams and lagoons and dambos usually have a mixture of such as Faidaherbiaalbida, pilistigmathorniigii (musekese), and Acasia species. There are also patches of palm communities.

Tourism

Tourism is one of the back borne of  development although most natural resources have not been fully exploited. Chama is known to have a number of attractive heritage sites and locally abundant wildlife resources.  These resources include geological (such as hot springs and fossil sites), geo-morphological (such as water falls, rivers, gorges, caves and karstic features) and biological (such as rare flora and fauna). There also cultural heritage sites such as archaeological (e.g., stone/ iron and ancient rock sites), anthropological (royal burial ground or sites with ethnographic material) and historic sites (which include any of the above categories).

These natural resources are set aside for the purpose of tourism, education, research or purely for conservation.

Available Tourism Safari Operators

Currently the District has four tourism safari operators belonging to hunting companies namely:-

  1. Muchinga Safaris Ltd which is located in Chifunda hunting block of  Chifunda Chiefdom.
  2. Kazumba Safaris is located in Tembwe -Kambombo hunting block in Tembwe and Kambombo chiefdoms.
  3. Ivory Safaris Ltd is located in Chikwa hunting block in Chikwa Chiefdom and
  4. Free stone safaris Ltd is located in Mpyanakunda in Lundu chiefdom.