Chilanga (Lusaka)

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Chilanga is located 20 km south of Zambia's capital city, Lusaka.

15° 34' 0 S

28° 16' 60 E

Notable features

Chilanga rests on the side of a large hill, which is a major decline in altitude between the plateau of Lusaka Province, and the Kafue River Valley. Chilanga is home to a major Lafarge Company [1] Cement plant, known as Chilanga Cement, which dominates the skyline of the area. Chilanga is also home to Baobab College [2], Mount Makulu Research Station and HQ of the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute [3], Eureka Camping Park [4], Munda Wanga Trust [5], Zambian Department of Fisheries, KnowledgeBeat [6], and Sandy's Creations [7]. Chilanga has a post office.

Geography and History

Chilanga was called a "township". Like most towns across Zambia, Chilanga was a colonial settlement for the white settlers and expatriates. The Chilanga Estates to the East of the Post Office, was for employees of Chilanga Cement (now Lafrge). Musamaba was situated within and nearer to the factory and was for the African factory employees. The Game and Fisheries Yards, to the North and South of the main tarmac off Kafue Road, were for the employees of the National Parks and Wildlife Services (now Zambia Wildlife Authority). To the South of Kafue Road was the compound called Game for African employees. In the outskirts were the various farms and villages. It was only after independence that most white settlers left and Africans began to occupy the Estates, yards and farm lands. By the beginning of the 1980 almost all of Chilanga was re-ssettled by African Zambians.

Parklands Primary School was for the white settlers while Chilanga Primary School was for the Africans. Other schools in the area included Mapepe and Musamaba Primary Schools. Parklands became a Basic school in the late 1980s. Primary was phased out at the school in the late 1990s. It was the first Secondary school in the area. The clinic is situated along Kafue Road at the beginning of the Game compound. Another clinic was at Chilanga Cement. There used to be a BP filling station near the Chilanga Cement offices entrance. The main shopping centre was opposite the Post office which consisted of Lungu's Bakery, Mwachula Grocery and Kwa Mewnye. Freedom was a shanti compound of mainly mud houses and is still situated on the approach to Chilanga Cement along Kafue road. the chilanga Bazar shop was demolished. Some farmers included Chindindindi, Chenjela, Miller and Mulikita.

The Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens were run by the Government through the National Parks and Wildlife Services. The late Mr. Chanda (the snake man) was the manager. It stocked a variety of indigenous and exotic creatures and attracted people from all over the country. The sounds of the animals could be heard kilometers away such as the early morning cries of peacocks and the late afternoon roaring of the lions.

The Water and Sewerage company managed the sewage ponds that eventually fell into the largest pond called Long Ridge. People have since built in the dried up ponds. However Long Ridge pond is still there and it has houses built around it and a social resort called Long Ridge Junction. It is a place of scenic beauty and tranquility.

Developments

Chilanga has since grown in size and population due to cropping businesses, commercial farming, small farm holding settlements and housing plots. However, water supply is still a challenge for most settlers as the land is hilly and rocky and there is not a large enough municipal supply system to cater for the increased demand. Boreholes are common. The formerly government owned houses are now privately owned as they and other government houses around Zambia were sold in the mid 1990s. Since then there has been a lot of building. The area had much open space that people have taken advantage of to build on.

Great South Road

The Great South Road of Zambia, which is actually known as Kafue Road, runs through the center of Chilanga. Once a quiet and rarely used two lane road, it has now become a four lane and very busy road. A large volume of truck traffic moves through the town on a daily basis, including very large shipments traveling to the mines in the Copper Belt of Zambia.

Zambian railways

Zambian Railways operates a railroad yard within Chilanga, which serves as a transportation hub for the Lafarge Cement plant. The Zambian Railways operates both passenger trains and cargo trains.

Languages

Because Chilanga is a transitional area between Lusaka Province and Southern Province, Zambia, both Tonga and Nyanja Bantu languages are spoken and understood, although, as with most of Zambia, many other tribal languages are also understood. English is the official language of Zambia, and most people in Chilanga can communicate in English.

Agriculture

Traveling away from the center of town, most of the land in Chilanga is used for sustenance agriculture. The areas away from the Great North Road are similar to most Zambian villages, with basic shelter for homes, and large Maize fields surrounding them.

Namesakes

There is another town in Zambia named Chilanga, located in the Northern Province see Chilanga, Zambia.

National Geographic 2005

Reference is made to Munda Wanga wildlife park in Chilanga in the September 2005 issue of National Geographic magazine.

External links