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Mungwi District

LOCATION

Mungwi District shares boundaries with Mbala District in the North, Isoka and Nakonde on the Northeast, Chinsali in the Southeast and Kasama on the West. The District has a total area of 10,000 square kilometers and is located 30 kilometers east of Kasama, the Provincial capital of Northern Province.

POPULATION

According to 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the population of Mungwi District stood at 151,058 of which 49.5 % were males against 50.5 % females. The report further indicated that the district had 30,843 households with a population density of 15.5 persons per square kilometer and an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent

CONSTITUENCIES AND WARDS: Mungwi District id divided into thirteen wards (13) wards distributed across one (1) Constituency

CLIMATE

Mungwi District has a tropical type of climate. It lies within agro-ecological region III of Zambia and receives more than 1000mm rain per annum. The rainy season starts in November and ends in April. The average growing season ranges from 140 to 170 days.

The mean monthly temperature during the growing season ranges from 19 oc to 27oc while the coolest months (June and July) average around 16oc. Temperatures start to rise in August and reach a peak in October with a maximum average of 23oc.

TOPOGRAPHY

Mungwi District lies mainly on a gently undulating plateau and has an altitude ranging from 1200 to 1600mm above sea level. It has a slope of 1-2 o modal. On the eastern part, the District is characterized by the Chambeshi and Kalungu flood plains while on the North a wide range of mountains forming part of the Muchinga escarpment covers the area. The central part of the District lies on a gently and undulating plateau with an attitude of about 1200mm above sea level.

HYDROLOGY

The district is endowed with abundant water resources. One of the four big rivers of Zambia, Chambeshi, passes through the District on the eastern part. There are eighty-one (81) streams and a number of dambos and swamps spread across the District. Of the 81 streams fifty (50) are perennial while thirty-one (31) are seasonal.

The streams drain into Kalungu, Luchindashi, Ntumba, Luchewe, Mabula and Chambeshi, which are the major rivers of the District.

The Chambeshi River is mainly used for fishing, domestic and water for animals, and rarely for irrigation purposes. The streams and dambos on the other hand are used for irrigation and fish farming. Twenty-six of the above rivers are used for irrigation. Along the Chambeshi flood plains, rice is grown in large quantities.

SETTLEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE DISTRICT

The settlement pattern and population distribution is influenced by; improved communication network, economic activities (fishing, farming and trading) and settlement schemes. There is a high population density along the Chambeshi River due to fishing and trading. Equally, along the TAZARA rail line the population density is high because of improved communication, which, has resulted in improved business opportunities for local people. Other areas like Mungwi Central, Malole and Chitimukulu are populated due to trading and farming activities.

HISTORY AND CULTURE

Ethnicity and Culture

  • Tribe: The dominant tribe in the district is Bemba.
  • Family and Community: In rural areas the extended family system is being practiced. Extended family relationships are long lasting. Male children usually marry and build a house near to where the parents live.

In urban areas the family is predominately nuclear in character. Families that have been living in urban areas for several generations often only retain weak links with their wider extended family in rural areas.

  • Customs, Beliefs and Practices: Customs, beliefs and practices still have an important bearing on how the society in the district functions.

Cattle ownership is the traditional form of wealth. Men’s prestige and the respect they command is related to the number of cattle they own.

Traditional medicine is still commonly used. Often patients in hospital choose to take traditional medicine alongside modern medicines.

TRADITIONAL AUTHORITY

Rural communities are organised on the basis of villages, normally led by a village headman/woman who is assisted by village committees. Overall traditional set up is under the jurisdiction of the Chief.

Mungwi District is home to three (3) Traditional Bemba Chiefs and several Sub Chiefs as well as Village Head-persons. The Bemba royal chieftaincy is organised under Paramount Chief Chitimukulu who reigns supreme over all Bemba Chiefs. His son chief Makasa reigns in the east while chief Chimbola reigns in the Matengele region, which is in the central part of the District. Traditionally, the two Chiefs (Makasa and Chimbola) pay tribute to the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. However, each of the three chiefs has his independent chief councillors who assist in their daily administration of their areas of jurisdiction. Most of these councillors are drawn from village head-persons and Sub-Chiefs. Each chief has a local traditional court locally known as Incenje where disputes of traditional nature are settled. The people in each chief’s jurisdiction are expected to pay their allegiance and royalty to the chief and pay him tributes.

The mentioned traditional leaders assist Government in the administration of the District with support from their chiefs and village head-persons.

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