Transportation constitutes one of the key elements of development as it impacts very heavily on the location of settlements as well as the location of businesses. The province can be accessed mainly by road and rail depending on the direction one is coming from and which particular town in the province they are going to. Air transport is not developed though the province can be accessed by air using small chartered planes.
The province does not have any standard airport in any of the seven (7) districts. However, non paved airstrips are available in Mpika, Chinsali, Isoka, and Nakonde. Chama is the only district with an airstrip with a bituminous or paved runway.
Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA)
The Tanzania Zambia Rail Authority (TAZARA) railway line is co-managed by the government of Zambia and the Republic of Tanzania. TAZARA runs from Kapiri-Mposhi in Zambia to Dar-Es-salaam in Tanzania and passes through two districts in the province namely Mpika and Nakonde, the border town. TAZARA runs passenger and goods trains between Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The other districts in the province are off the TAZARA rail line.
The Great North Road which runs from Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia to Nakonde in Muchinga province is the main back borne road in the province. Mpika, Shiwang’andu, and Nakonde town are right along this road whilst for Chinsali and Isoka, one has to branch off this road for 14 km and 7 km respectively. Public transport in the form of buses is available along this main road and this provides good connectivity to Lusaka the Capital City of Zambia as well as Dar es Salaam, the port city of Tanzania.
State of Road Infrastructure
The province has a total 716 km of the paved road network and 4,884.70 Km of the unpaved road network. The paved roads include the Great North Road (T002) from Lukulu River to Nakonde and the M001 (Mpika to Kasama) section from Mpika to Chambeshi Bridge. The Unpaved roads include the M14 road, some District roads (D), Rural District roads (RD) and the Rural Roads (R).
However, the above scenario is slowly changing due to a number of roads being upgraded to bituminous standard under the link Zambia 8000 Project. The road projects under implementation in the province are as indicated in the table below:
Table 6.1: Roads being raised to Bituminous Standard in the Province
Source: RDA Regional Office