Lavushimanda district lies between UTM Coordinates 150000.00 E and 38000.00 E, East of the Greenwich Prime Meridian, and 8670000.00N and 8520000.00N south of the Equator. It has a total area of 14,136.87Km² (1,413,687 Hectares) and shares borders with Mpika and Kanchibiya to the North, Mambwe District to the East, Chitambo to the South, and Lunga and Samfya District to the West. The District lies at 1,568m Above Sea Level. The Great North Road (T2) links Lavushimanda district to Chinsali the Provincial Headquarters of Muchinga Province.
Constituency and Wards
The District has one Constituency namely Mfuwe with four (4) wards namely; Chikanda, Mupamadzi, Lukulo and Lulimali wards.
Lavushimanda district has two chiefdoms with two Chiefs namely, Chief Mpumba of Mpumba Chiefdom and Chief Chiundaponde of Chiiundaponde chiefdom. A large portion of Mpumba Chiefdom falls within Muphamazi and Chikanda Wards while Chiundaponde chiefdom covers Lulimala and Lukulu wards.
Lavushimanda district enjoys hot and tropical summer temperatures of 40 Degrees Centigrade particularly in the eastern part of the district. However, unpleasant cold to mild winters of below 17.5 Degrees Centigrade are experienced. The annual rainfall of around 1000 mm is recorded in the valley. The district’s climate is also influenced by the plateau, which is along the Muchinga escarpment where rainfall is around 1,200 mm per annum.
Relative humidity for the district varies according to the seasons of the year, reaching peak in the wet season. However, the mean relative humidity for Lavushimanda is 68 degree.
Wind directions are predominantly East to Southeast except during the rainy season when they are variable with northeast to West winds being more frequent. The strongest winds are the easterlies that occur throughout the year, while the lightest are the westerlies and the south westerlies.
According to the 2010 housing and population census, the four (4) wards that make up Lavushimanda District had a total population of 36,805. However, according to the Ministry of health 2018 head count conducted in the district, Lavushimanda is estimated to have a population of 61,707.
Soil and Vegetation
Generally, vegetation in Lavushimanda, consists mainly of four types of forests namely Museshe, Chipya, Mateshi and Riparian and three woodland types Miombo, Mopane and Munga Savannah grassland and termitaria. Grasslands are edaphic in nature characterized by scattered tree species and are constantly under attack from stray fires in the hot dry season. Grasslands occur on flood plains, high plateau and in swamps.
The District is connected to the National Grid for electricity supply through ZESCO Limited.
The 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.
The district has potential in railway transport infrastructure with very good railway line that is managed by Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). The district has five railway stations that are active, namely Lukulu, Finkuli, Mununga, Salamo and Kalonje Railway Stations, which are used to load and offload goods and passengers. The greatest challenge is the slow speed of the trains used as most of them are obsolete. Therefore, there is an opportunity to invest in faster and more reliable trains
Water Supply and Sanitation
The district water and sanitation situation is relatively poor and the common source of drinking water in the district being shallow wells. Most of the boreholes are located at government institutions such as clinics and schools and very few are in villages.
The council also recently formed the D-WASHE Committee in order to help improve the water and sanitation situation in the district. The majority of households have pit latrines with government institutions such as schools and health facilities having VIP toilets.
Lavushimanda district has no Local Community Radio Station. However, the District is able to receive radio and television signals from Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Multichoice (DSTV), MUVI Television and Star Times.
Lavushimanda District has a total number of eight (8) health facilities namely; Chiundaponde, Lubunga, Lukulu, Mpumba, Muwele, Mabonga, Salamo and Kapilya. Additionally the government of Zambia has built to mini hospital at Chiundaponde and Mpumba areas.
The health care partners that are working in the selected catchment areas of these health facilities include PAMO, which is engaged in Malaria programmes, CHAI; whose focus is maternal and neonatal health, SFH; which is engaged in capacity building of health workers, SARAI Project and CARITAS whose focus is Malaria and HIV/AIDS.
Lavushimanda district has five (5) day Secondary Schools, namely Mununga, Kalonje, Chiundaponde, Lukulu and Salamo, 22 Primary Schools and 9 Community schools namely Mwenda, Tubondo, Mabyulu, Mpomfu Chilebela, Chipembele, Mlomfi, Mwila Chilambwe and Nsansha giving a total of 36 Schools in the District. The staffing levels stand at 193.
The challenges faced by the schools range from inadequate infrastructure, (Class Room Blocks and staff Houses) Inadequate furniture, such as desks, poor sanitation levels due to lack of good water source etc., poor compliance on payment of school fees which is the only source of funds for the schools in question as government funds are quite erratic. All the secondary schools except Lukulu Secondary are not connected to the national grid.
There no financial institutions available in the district apart from AIRTEL, MTN and ZAMTEL mobile services. Banking services in the district are offered in Mpika district which is about 130KM.
Lavushimanda district has no shopping malls. However, small scale shops exist to serve the local people and tourists.
The district has two lodges in the Bangweulu GMA. These are Shoebill and Nkondo, and there are also six (06) camping sites which include Mumbatuta, Malauzi and Chibembe in the Lavushimanda National Park. In the GMA, we have Makanga hunting camp, and Nsobe community camp and in Mpumba chiefdom, we have Mutinondo wilderness camp. Other campsites and lodges in the District include the Mfuwe Presidential Lodge and the Mfuwe Game Park Camp located in South Luangwa National Park. However, the district still has inadequate tourism infrastructure such as lodges and motels as such there are opportunities to invest in such facilities.
Other campsites and lodges in the District include the Mfuwe Presidential Lodge and the Mfuwe Game Park Camp located in South Luangwa National Park, because of its popularity, South Luangwa National Park has safari camps and lodges like Marula lodge, with the highest possible standards of service not mention several camps sites available.
Potential Areas for Investment in Lavushimanda
The main potential investment in the agricultural sector include:
Irish Potato Production
The district has great potential to expand the Irish potatoes industry because of favourable weather condition and suitable soils (sandy loam). The crop is grown throughout the year both under rain fed and irrigation. Although Irish potatoes can be grown in all camps, Lukulu Agricultural Camp is the major producer followed by Mabonga and then Finkuli Camp. Most of the crop is sold locally but also in Mpika, Copperbelt and Lusaka. Currently the district produces more than 700 metric tonnes (mt) of Irish potatoes each year and more than 200 ha of land is dedicated to the production of the tuber.
The major challenges with Irish potatoes production includes:-
- Use of local recycled planting material
- Primitive cultivation method by the farmers
- Late blight disease and
- Luck of irrigation facilities/equipment.
The crop is grown throughout the district under rain fed. The district produces about 400 mt of beans each year and more than 1,300 farmers utilize about 700 ha of land in the production of this legume each year. The main varieties grown are Kabulangeti, Lusaka, Solwezi. Currently Kabulangeti beans has ready market through COMACO followed by Solwezi and then Lusaka.
The major challenges with field beans production includes:-
- Pests (bean Stem Magot.)
- Diseases and the use of uncertified seed.
The crop is grown throughout the district especially in Chiundaponde and Mwelushi camps under rain fed. The district produces above 18,000 mt of cassava each year; almost 10,000 farmers and about 3000 ha of land is employed in the production of the tuber.
The major challenges with cassava production includes:-
- Persistent use of infected planting material has been negatively affecting the production of the tuber.
- Lack of processing machinery and market for the produce has equally been hindering the production of cassava as well.
Oil Seed Production
The production of soya beans, groundnuts and sunflower have been lagging in the district due lack of reliable market for the seed. Nevertheless, the district has the climatic conditions and soils to produce these products beyond the current levels.
This crop is grown in Chiundaponde area under rain fed. The cereal equally has the potential to be produced in higher quantities than what is prevailing now. The district currently produces 48 metric tons of rice. Like maize, rice can be grown for both food security and income. However, rice has the following advantage over maize: (1) ready market locally and away (2) Recycle seed for 2 or 3 seasons depending on the viability. (3) Can be stored for several season if not threshed. Investment potential exist in seed purification and seed multiplication.
The major challenges with rice production includes:-
- lack of improved seed varieties
- Lack of production knowledge as most of the farmers broadcast when planting and not use fertilizer.
- The seed is of poor quality.
Among the fruits grown in the district oranges have a higher production and marketing potential followed by bananas. Currently we have 2,071 farmers growing oranges with 4,736 trees while 373 farmers grow bananas with 5058 banana mats. The supply of both fruits has failed to meet local demand due to poor management and lack of improved varieties.
The major challenges with fruit production includes:-
- Lack of water and irrigation facilities
- Lack of chemicals to control cercospora which affects the quality of the orange fruits hence dropping the market value of the fruit.
Bulking and Marketing of Produce
This can be done in conjunction with the out-grower schemes or by its own. Basically, this facility will provide a central point where farmers can bring their produce such as beans, Irish potatoes, cassava and rice for bulking, packaging, labelling, storage and easy marketing.
Such facilities like oil processing in the district will certainly encourage farmers to go into the production of oil seed such as groundnuts and soya beans. This kind of investments tend to create a pull effect that encourages farmers to increase production in order to meet the requirements of the processing plant. This as well can be implemented together with the other two investments or just on its own for any particular crop or a group of crops.
In terms of aqua culture, the district has a very active fishing area particularly in the western part of the district, which has the Bangweulu Wetlands. Most fishing is done in Muwele area and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the people in that area. People in this area have been engaging in fishing and trading for a long time. The sector can therefore develop by taking advantage of the already existing knowledge among the locals and who have passion in the fishing industry.
Lavushimanda district has a tourism potential ranging from natural water sources, field adventures and thick forests site viewing of natural splendours, mountaineering and game viewing. In addition, most of the landscape is hilly and attractive to watch.
The district has two (2) national parks with a variety of wildlife. These are the Lavushimanda National park located in the north west of the district and the South Luangwa National park, located in the South East of the district.
The national park is located within the district and covers an area of 1,500 square kilometres. It is the 11th largest national park in Zambia. The park was initially gazetted as a Game Reserve before it became a national park in 1972. The park lies on a plateau area of the district between the Muchinga Escarpment and the alluvial flats of the Bangweulu Wetlands. The scenery is dominated by the spectacular 47km long Lavushi Manda mountain range in the southern half of the park and this range reaches up to 1,811 meters altitude, forming one of the highest points in Zambia.
South Luangwa National Park
The South Luangwa Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction. With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever
Accessibility to the National parks
It can be accessed using two modes of transportation: air, and road. The Mfuwe International Airport is located only about 20 Km away from the park’s main entrance. It is no wonder then that air transportation is preferred to road transportation.
By road, the park can be accessed from Chipata; Petauke district on the great east road, Mpika district on the great north road; or through Lundazi district. The most recommended route is the one from Chipata, which stretches a distance of 123 Km from the park. The other routes are a big challenge, owing to the bad condition of the roads; and in the rainy season, the muddy roads bog down any vehicle and it is so easy to get stuck.
The District also has three (3) Game Management Areas (GMAs), which are also rich with a variety of animal species. These are the Bangweulu Game Management Area located west of the Lavushimanda National Park, the Chikuni Game Management Area located in the west and part of the Munyamadzi Game Management Area located in the north east of the District.
Bangweulu Wetlands (GMA)
Bangweulu means “where the water meets the sky” is located mostly within Zambia’s Northern and Muchinga Provinces.The Bangweulu Wetlands are adjacent to Lake Bangweulu in Luapula province, the area is known to be the home bird. The area has permanent swamps which are fed by the Chambeshi, Luapula, Lukulu and Luilimala rivers. The ecosystem has cyperus papyrus, floating grass, miomboo woodlands and reeds that support large populations of crocodiles, fish, and water birds. Mammals include buffalo’s, zebra, bushbuck, hippopotamus, hyenas, jackals, and migrating lechwe among others.
Chikuni Game Management Area
The Chikuni Game Management Area is located southwest of the Lavushimanda National Park. It covers a vast area of swamp, flood-plain and termitaria encompassing about 40% of the total wetland area in the Bangweulu basin. The site is a designated Ramsar Site covering over 250,000 ha of land. It has a variety of animal species such as Black lechews, Kudus, Impalas, buffalo’s, zebra, bushbuck and hyenas.
- Chintikwe floating vegetation located in Bangweulu GMA
- Mumbo ututa falls located in Lavushimannda National Park
- Mumbo ututa falls located in Lavushimannda National Park
- Kapanda Lupili falls located in Lavushimanda National Park
- Lavushi Manda mountain located in Lavushimanda National Park
- Chibembe plains located in Lavushimanda National Park
- Shoebill Island located in Bangweulu GMA
- Malauzi valley located in Lavushimanda National Park
Bangweulu Game Management Area has two hunting blocks allocated to Bangweulu Wetlands Project as the outfitter. These are specialised hunting blocks because of the three species namely the black lechwe, sitatunga and the tsetsebe dominate and their special distribution which is largely restricted to these areas.
Bangweulu Game Management Area has a wide range of animal species which include the black lechwe, Tsetsebe, Sitatunga, Zebra, Buffaloe, Impala, Puku, Kudu, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Elephant, Hartebeest and Monkeys. Conversely, the Park has Sable antelopes, Baboons, Monkeys, Reedbuck, Puku, Hartebeest, Bush pigs and the Warthogs.
In order to increase the variety of animal species and restocking our protected areas, the department of National Parks and Wildlife through Bangweulu Wetlands Project in 2018 translocated animals into Nkondo corridor in the Lavushi-Manda National Park buffer zone and a total of 438 animals were received. The species brought were Puku, Kudu, Waterbuck, Bushbuck and the Hartebeest. The department is also planning to bring some Buffaloes.
The District has huge deposits of Manganese ore, which is mined by small-scale miners in the district. The manganese is usually transported to Serenje and Mkushi for processing. However, a number of these mines in the district are illegal and only a few have approved Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) reports from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
Trade and Industries
There are no major industries in the district apart from the TAZAMA Pump station and the TAZARA Mununga Quarry, which are parastatal companie.
Tazama Pump Station
The Tazama Pump Station is one of the active industries in the District. Tazama which stands for “Tanzania Zambia Mafuta” was a joint venture between Tanzania and Zambia whose mandate is to procure petroleum refinery feed stocks and transport it through the pipeline from Dar-es Salam to the refinery at Indeni in Ndola as well as oversee the refining process at the feedstock into products and market the products.
The Pump station is one of the Tazama pump stations dotted along the Pipe line which runs from Dar es Salam to Ndola. The pump station is located at Kalonje and was established in 1971-1972. The station was established in order to improve supply from the initial pump station in Chinsali where crude oil is transported from Dar es Salam to Ndola. The station ensures efficient and effective fuel supply in the country. Crude oil is transported to Indeni where it is refined into finished products and then sent back to Tazama pump station fuel deposits.
Tazara Mununga Quarry
Tazara Mununga is a quarry mine that was opened in 1973 by the Chinese specifically for the construction of the Great North Railway line. After the completion of the railway line in 1976, the quarry was handed over to Tazara. The quarry mine continued to operate until the equipment left by the Chinese run down and become obsolete. However, the company was recapitalised in 1987 and has since been operating since then. The Mununga crushing plant has two crushers namely; Primary Crusher (Jaw Crusher) and Secondary Crusher (Con Crusher) that have design capacities of crushing 200 T/H and 230 – 305 T/ H respectively. The crushers are further designed to produce ballast stone as the main product, which carries about 56% of the crushed product and the rest as 15 % for Aggregates, 7 % Chippings, and 22% Crusher dust. The average plant production is 600 metric tonnes per day, which translates to 13,200 metric tonnes per month.
Transport – Railway Transport
The District has potential in railway transport infrastructure. The district has a very good railway line that is managed by Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). The railway line which runs which from Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi is a Bi national railway managed by the two countries whose mandate is to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective railway transport for goods and passengers. The railway line is 1,067mm wide and covers a stretch of over 1,000 km. The district has five railway stations that are active, namely Lukulu, Finkuli, Mununga, Salamo and Kalonje Railway Stations, which are used to load and offload goods and passengers. The greatest challenge is the slow speed of the trains used as most of them are obsolete. Therefore, there is an opportunity to invest in faster and more reliable trains.
Alternative Sources of Energy
The district is connected to the national grid through the Mununga Substation the only substation in the district. The substation only has the capacity to step down electricity from 33KV to 11KV. As such, very few places are supplied with electricity in the district and these are Lukulu, Mununga and Mpumba areas. The majority of the areas such as Chiundaponde, Kalonje, Mupamadzi, Chito, Salamo and including the site for the district township at Kalonje is not connected to national grid.
The location of Lavushimanda district makes it ideal for investment in alternative sources of energy. Generally, the district is endowed with enough sunlight throughout the day and this is ideal for solar energy. The deficit of hydropower electricity coupled with the intermittent supply of hydroelectricity makes the district to be an alternative source of energy generation such as solar and wind energy.