K17m Mpongwe skills centre erected
Published On July 25, 2015 » 2277 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Latest News, Stories
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community news logo 2 newBy MUNAMBEZA MUWANEI –

DONORS from Netherlands have embarked on the construction of a Vocational Training Centre in Mpongwe District at a cost of about K17 million.
The centre, which was being constructed using local materials, would be able to offer training to the local community and members of the public from other parts of the country.
Project manager Bram Sol said the project started in 2012 and was being funded by partners from Netherlands at a total cost of K16.5 million.
“The centre, which will be the biggest in the province, will offer training to students that will meet the required qualifications,” Mr Sol said.
Among some of the courses expected to be offered at the centre are organic farming, food processing, horticulture, farming, catering and hospitality, bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, tailoring and electronics.
The Sunday Times team that visited the centre found some workers busy with the construction works, while others were busy making doors using bamboo sticks.
Building materials being used in the construction were locally produced and all the local workers had been trained in various skills including making the doors using locally sourced raw materials.
This project started in 2001by Antonia Korten as an Orphaned  and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) project, leading to a centre called Give Children of Mpongwe a Future (GKMT).
He said GKMT had embarked on income generation projects to avoid donor dependence and a guest house has also been constructed.
Some of the finances raised also support OVC programmes and offer school fees to about 50 children.
Other income generation projects were the construction of a community hall for the women group called Nchembwe Twesheko women Enterprise, which was being used  for workshops, weddings and other community functions.
Another project being undertaken was the Organic Ibala Farming Centre where students attend lessons on organic farming once a week in Ibenga and Mpongwe .

Mpongwe gets bridge


CONSTRUCTION of Kabulima Bridge to connect Kasamba Ward in Mpongwe and Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt has started.
The project started early this month and is expected to be completed next month.
Kasamba Ward councillor Maureen Mulapula said the construction of the bridge would ease access for the community to the nearby district.
She said the local community was forced to paddle canoes whenever they were visiting Kasamba Ward, which was dangerous.
“Some pupils are forced to use canoes when going to the nearby school in Lufwanyama, while those from Lufwanyama crossing to the health centre are using similar means,” she said.
She said the construction of the bridge was being undertaken by Kabcom contractors who had so far spent K125, 000 from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The previous bridge was washed away more than 10 years ago and the community had been facing difficulties in terms of movement.
Ms Mulapula also appealed to Government to construct another bridge over the Kafue River.
Meanwhile, Ms Mulapula said the construction works of Kasamba Primary School in the area which started in 2011 had stalled due to limited finances.

Sugar grower gives tips


A SMALLHOLDER sugarcane grower, Phanuel Hankede, has called for the revamping of irrigation facilities to improve rural livelihoods in view of erratic rainfall being experienced across the country.
Mr Hankede, who is a successful smallholder farmer at Kaleya Smallholder Company Limited (KASCO) in Mazabuka, said irrigated cash crops were the only source of hope for improved life in the rural communities of Zambia.
He said this in his presentation at the just ended Federation of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Sugar Producers Conference (FSSP) held at David Livingstone Safari Lodge in Livingstone recently.
Mr Hankede said with issues of global climate change, irrigated cash crops had remained the only source of hope for improved life in the rural communities of Zambia.
“I can now afford to send my children to colleges and universities – two are in colleges and one is at a university in Lusaka.
As a smallholder farmer at KASCOL, my whole life style and thinking has changed. I can afford a modern home with electricity, at least two cars for transport to manage our work and big family,” Mr Hankede said.
He said he enjoyed his work as a smallholder farmer because it had impacted positively on his life and fellow smallholders in Mazabuka.

East youth loan defaulters worry State

GOVERNMENT has expressed disappointment with youths who are defaulting repayment of Youth Empowerment Fund loans.
Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu said in Chipata on Friday that he was disappointed that a number of youths had defaulted the repayment of the loans to the Government.
Mr Zulu said reminders had been sent to the affected youths but nothing had been done towards the payment.
“Several attempts have been made to remind the youth over the repayment of the loan to the Government but surprisingly no youth is willing to make payment,” he said.
Mr Zulu said the non-payment of the loan by the youth was disadvantaging others who wanted the money.
Meanwhile, the Chipata District Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit has distributed 50 tonnes of relief food to the needy areas.
Mr Zulu said despite the distribution of the relief maize, some people in the district were looking for more support to cushion the hunger.

Condoms, diapers choke Lusaka sewers
LUSAKA Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) has deplored the unceasing sewer system blockages in the city due to illegal dumping of solid matter like condoms.
LWSC public relations manager, Topsy Sikalinda said the water utility firm was removing more than 1000 condoms and other materials like baby diapers, sanitary pads and clothes daily from the system.
Mr Sikalinda said because of such substances, the sewer system in Lusaka was usually blocked, causing the overflow of effluent in many townships.
“When the sewers are blocked, we are now forced to pump out the substances causing the blockage, this means that we are losing a lot of money,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda said the careless disposal of such matter in sewer lines was a health hazard which also caused environmental risks.
He said under Act No. 37 of the Water and Sanitation Act, any person found dumping such matter into the sewer system commits a crime and will be convicted to not less than a year.
Mando Sepi, a resident from Garden Township said there was need to educate people on where to dispose of things like condoms and diapers to avoid environmental contamination and sewer blockages.


Curb Mumbwa road deaths – Garden house residents

GARDEN House residents in Lusaka are angered by the continued loss of life through traffic accidents on Mumbwa Road.
The continued traffic accidents on Mumbwa Road have been attributed to the lack of road markings and speed humps.
Garden House residents talked to, said they were tired as their cries for help seemingly fell on deaf ears.
Some residents have described the recent expansion of the road to a dual carriage way as a death trap.
The residents complained that what was supposed to be a blessing to them had become a danger to their lives as a week barely passes without witnessing a person being hit by a vehicle when trying to cross the road.
Peter Phiri said he had on two occasions witnessed accidents involving buses, which resulted in the death of the pedestrians.
Mr Phiri said there was need for the Government to put road markings and humps on Mumbwa Road soon before more lives were lost.
“We can’t continue seeing people being bashed and dying every day when this can be avoided by just finishing the works on the road,” he said.
Another resident, Linda Kalenga, implored the contractor to quickly put road humps, which were there before the road expansion works.
“A child was knocked down by a reckless motorist at Y Road junction near Garden House Hotel on Charismas eve. The child died on the spot,” she said.

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