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Kaputa District

Location

Kaputa District shares boundaries with the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R. Congo) to the north, Nchelenge to the north-west, Kawambwa, Nsama and Mporokoso to the south, Mpulungu and Mbala to the North-east and East respectively.  It is 420 km away from the provincial capital, Kasama.  About 8,000 km2 is covered by lakes leaving 5,004 km2 as the main land.

 Topography

The topographical features of Kaputa district consists of the plateau, the valley basins and wetlands (dambos). The plateau covers a small area in the southern part of the district, and is covered mostly by highly weathered, leached acidic soils and has an altitude ranging between 700 and 900 meters above sea level.

The valley represents most area of the district and is covered by some of the most fertile soils in the country.  The altitude is mostly around 600 m. There are two lakes in the district namely Mweru Wantipa and Tanganyika in the centre and to the north-east respectively.  There are rivers too in the district namely Mwawe, Mukubwe, and Mwambeshi.

 Climate

The climatic condition of the province divided into two seasons of rainy and dry.  The rainy season starts around late October/early November and lasts until end of March/early April giving a growing season of 150-170 days.  Rainfall is low, with the average annual precipitation of less than 700 mm.

The dry season can be further subdivided into a cool dry season from May/June to July/August and a hot dry season from August to October.  Temperatures in the cool season average between 18° C and 20° C with a minimum of 15° C, while during the hot season temperatures can range between 25° C and 33° C with a maximum of 35° C.

Soils

Generally the soils are sandy loams with occasional occurrence of rubble.  The strongly leached soils located on uplands and derived from non-basic rocks are the most dominant group consisting mainly Oxisols and Ultisols, and are well drained.

The district also has Cambisol, Fluvisol and Vertisol soils in the valley areas of the district.  Gleysol is found mainly in low-lying areas and in depressions (poorly drained soils) influenced by high groundwater such as the swamps suitable for rice production.

The Rhodic Ferrasols, having a somewhat better nutrient status, are considered the best soils for crop production as they respond well to fertiliser applications  Most of the soils on the plateau have pH below 4.5, although there are large variations.  The fairly low pH allows them to become easily acidic during cultivation and the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers.

Vegetation

The district is covered with a savannah woodland vegetation type locally called Miombo, Chipya and Mateshi woodlands composed of local forest and customary areas and game management areas.  The Miombo (Brachystegia-Julbernardia) woodland extends over the greatest part of the plateau and is dominated by Hyperrhenia and Digitaria species.

Hydrology (Water Resources And Drainage)

The District has four streams namely Mwawe, Mukubwe, Mwambeshi and Choma draining the district.  All these are seasonal streams.  The district has numerous rivers and dambos suitable of providing irrigation water and has optimum temperature for plant growth throughout the year.  These qualities make district suitable for future agricultural expansion.

The described district characteristic has potential for a lot of economic activities; especially farming that has for the recent past, taken over to become the main economic activity in the district. But it has been observed that despite all these potential factors the majority of people of District are poor, with the majority of the poor people living in very remote areas of the district.

Population

According to 2010 census of population and housing, Kaputa District has a population of 119,514 with an estimated growth rate of 3.2 % and the population density of 9.2 people per square kilometre.

DISTRICT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The main economic activities in the district include Agriculture, Salt Mining, fishing and trading.

Agricultural sector

The major crops grown in the district are cassava, maize and rice.  The district has some areas which are fairly suitable for the production of maize, groundnuts, soya beans, sweet potatoes, rice, cotton, sesame, bananas, sugar cane and sunflower as major cash crops.  Rice production has also high potential in some wetlands (dambos) found in Mwawe, Shikapampa, Makaka, Katai, Kamipini and Musungwishi.

Sweet potatoes are being grown on an increasing scale around the district while mixed bean and finger millet are grown in Munyele and Katele areas.  .

Production of fish is declining due to drying of Mweru Wantipa which is the main source of livelihood for the fishermen on depend on it. The District is endowed with abundant grazing land though the major livestock reared are chickens, guinea fowls, goats, sheep, ducks,  pig and rabbits

Transport and Communication

Kaputa District is accessible by air and road transport system.The district has one Airstrip near the district administrative centre located  at Chocha village, which caters for light aircrafts and helicopters only.

Kaputa is connected on phone (Zamtel). Telephones do give problems due to power interruptions. Airtle and MTN operate in the district though network coverage is only along the lake and 25 kilometres radius from the central town.  There is urgent need to extend these services to other parts of the district.

Market Infrastructure

There are is no bigger market in the district. Some structures do exist in Nsama and Kaputa Boma area. Nsumbu has a new market that has been just completed.

Water Supply and Sanitation

The district gets piped water from Chambeshi water and Sewerage Company though most of Kaputa residents do not have adequate safe drinking water. Some parts of the district are dry and boreholes could not be sunk.

Health Sector

The district has twelve rural health centres and 1 district hospital.

Tourism

The district has potential in tourism such as wildlife in Nsumbu and Lake Mweru National Parks, heritage resources and water bodies such as Lakes Tanganyika and Mweru Wantipa . Currently, Kasaba Bay Tourism Development Project is underway and infrastructure such as roads and powerlines are under construction.

Mining Sector

The mining sector in Kaputa district has been only on salt but the district has great potential in mining as it has mineral deposits in some areas.

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