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[March 16, 2014]
Chilanga Farmer 'Saves' Squatters
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MORE than 110 people who had been squatting on someone's farm for about 18 years in Chilanga District, have been asked to legalise the residential plots by the owner of the farm.
The residents, who had been illegally occupying plots in Julias Chitukuko area were given the right to own the plots by John Clayton, a prominent farmer in the area.
Mr Clayton owns about 1,900 hectares of land in Chilanga but 200 hectares of his land was occupied by squatters, forcing him to get rid of it by empowering the settlers rather than chasing them.
Chilanga District Commissioner Edith Muwana said during the official handover of offer letters for the plots that she was indebted to Mr Clayton for his generous offer which had resolved the challenge that had been in existence for more than 18 years.
Ms Muwana said Mr Clayton had demonstrated that he was a friend of the pro-poor Patriotic Front (PF) Government by parting away with 200 hectares of land to empower the poor people.
She called on other farmers in Chilanga District to emulate Mr Clayton's generosity and offer their undeveloped land for developmental projects.
The shortage of land for development purposes is more critical in Chilanga District than any other newly-created districts in Lusaka Province.
The Office of the President would exert itself and face the challenge until land is found for the development of the district.
Ms Muwana, however, advised the beneficiaries of the residential plots not to be cheated into selling them, saying the strategic planning required that they transacted when the plots gained value.
Earlier, district administrative officer Frazer Musonda said the ceremony signified a dimension of development in the district where the investor would start the process of quarry mining.
Mr Musonda said the people of Julius Chitukuko were elevated to landlords and that Chilanga District council stood to benefit in terms of income from property owners.
RTSA urged to patrol highways By NAKUBIANA MUMBUNA - THE Commuters Rights Association of Zambia (CRAZ) has advised the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to ensure that it also patrols highways instead of concentrating on the Central Business District (CBD).
CRAZ chairperson Arron Kamuti said in Lusaka recently that patrolling highways would help prevent accidents around the country.
Mr Kamuti said it was important that highways such as the Great North Road were heavily patrolled, noting that it was on highways that most motorists, including big buses drove at high speeds resulting in road traffic accidents.
"It is important that the road agency also concentrates on patrolling the highways than just the CBD because it is on these highways that people do not obey road traffic rules and drive at very high speeds," he said.
Mr Kamuti also called on RTSA to make follow-ups with bus operators once offered operating licences.
He said that some bus operators opted not to use PSV drivers because they were expensive.
Mr Kamuti also said that very few long distance buses had speed limiters despite this being a requirement.
But RTSA public relations manager Mercy Mwila said the agency patrolled both the CBD and highways.
On speed limiters, Ms Mwila said it was possible that some buses did not have speed limiters because some operators evaded inspections, adding that in some cases speed limiters were tampered with.
Ms Mwila, however, said the agency was confident that with the proposal to introduce sophisticated speed management tools, RTSA would have the capacity to monitor the speeds of PSV vehicles.
Ms Mwila further said currently there was no provision to compel bus operators to have two drivers on every journey.
She, however, said the agency had proposed for a legal requirement to compel operators limit the hours of service per driver per day.
Chawama Township in facelift RESIDENTS of Chawama Township's Nkoloma Ward One in Lusaka are enjoying the benefits of the Ward Development Fund (WDF) with more developments taking place there.
The area has started receiving piped water and will soon have another police post and a skills training centre, while a mini-stadium is also on the cards.
Nkoloma Ward One Councillor Lawrence Sichalwe said his area was benefitting from the Patriotic Front Government's efforts to improve the welfare of Zambians by bringing development to his neighbourhood.
Mr Sichalwe said allocation of more than K300,000 WDF by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to his ward had brought about a lot of development in his area.
He cited the construction of the L-400 ring road by the Road Development Agency (RDA) and construction of a police post in his ward as a relief to the residents as that would help reduce the crime rate in the area.
"Security is a major source of concern in my ward. If it were possible, we would need every corner of the area to have a police post," Mr Sichalwe said.
"Currently, Nkoloma Ward One is working on building another police post in the area since the Misisi police post will be demolished because the ring road will see the demolition of some of the buildings in the area. We have managed to construct another police post using the CDF. This construction is ongoing right now." Mr Sichalwe also commended the LCC Waste Management Unit for their efforts in helping to clear the garbage in the area.
"Roads in Chawama Ward One were impassable because of unplanned settlements, but now they are graveled and the main roads have been tarred. For example, Nyerere Road was among the impassable roads during the rainy season, but now it has been paved," Mr Sichalwe said.
He said the garbage collection exercise had helped to unblock some of the drainage in the township.
Mr Sichalwe, however, regretted that some residents still threw waste in the drains, thereby causing blockages leading to floods, as in some cases rain water even flowed into some houses.
He said the matter had been reported to the RDA and the council, who were helping sensitise the community on the disadvantages of indiscriminate dumping of garbage.
Mr Sichalwe said the other problem was that the ward did not have a single skip bin, making it difficult to collect garbage, saying it could be one of the contributing factors to the indiscriminate dumping of garbage, but he was hopeful that with the recent purchase of skip bins, his area would benefit.
He also said that his ward used to experience critical shortages of water supply, but now residents in his area had started receiving piped water, and some houses were using communal taps.
The councilor said his office had paid the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) K25,000 for the supply of water to his area.
Mr Sichalwe said the Community Hall in his ward, which is currently running as a community school, had not been effective enough and that there were plans of turning it into a skills training centre for the youth.
He said his ward also had plans of transforming the Kuku sports ground into a mini-stadium to offer different sports activities like volleyball, netball and football.
"According to the map, there will be a police post and sports infrastructure at the same place," Mr Sichalwe said.
He was, however, saddened with the state of Tambalala Market which he said had been ruined by the cooperatives that did not want the council to intervene, while Katwishi Market was in good state though lacked water and toilets.
The ward councilor also announced plans to relocate the bus stop at Down Town Shopping Mall to the area behind Shoprite Kamwala.-LUSAKA CITY COUNCIL Milenge District water contaminated MILENGE District Council treasurer Stanley Mwanza has expressed worry that the water in the area has high levels of iron content.
The high iron content has caused the water to turn yellowish in colour, posing a health risk to the residents.
Mr Mwanza said the local authority had since partnered with Water Aid, a Non-Governmental Organisation, to provide a self-supply water project revolving fund aimed at improving the state of wells in the area.
Once completed, the project will enable people to access safe drinking water.
Mr Mwanza told ZANIS in an interview last week that through the introduction and provision of Afri-dev pumps which are resistant to contamination, people should not shun the usage of the new technology aimed at providing safe drinking water.
Mr Mwanza said there was need for local people to participate in the scheme so that they could have safe drinking water as well as input in the expansion of the district for them to appreciate the efforts made to improve service delivery to the community.
He said the initiative would give the community a sense of ownership while they were still waiting for the Government to release funds for piped water to be installed.
He said that NGOs such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Water Aid had come on board to help the local authority improve sanitation the district. -ZANIS L/stone bio-gas plant on cards By BRIAN HATYOKA - LIVING Falls BioPower, an energy firm, has partnered with Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) and Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO) to set up a bio-gas power plant in Livingstone to be turning waste into cooking energy and fertiliser at a cost of 180,000 Euros.
The plant, which uses water weeds from SWASCO sewer ponds as raw materials for producing bio-gas energy, is targeting to reach about 50 households in Livingstone's Dambwa Site and Service before the end of this year.
Living Falls BioPower business development director Thomas Krimmel said his entity invested 80,000 Euros while EEP also provided 100,000 Euros to set up the plant.
Dr Krimmel, who is also Southern BioPower Limited partner and director, said his company wanted to provide cheap and cost-effective energy to about 50 communities and nearby hotels in the tourist capital.
He was speaking during the commissioning of the Biogas Plant project last week.
EEP is a programme which promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology investments.
It is jointly funded by the governments of Finland, Austria and recently joined by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).
"Our target is to support between 30 and 50 households by the middle of this year under the pilot project, after which we will decide to connect more households and entities to the project." He said the contract with SWASCO was for seven years, and thereafter, the water utility firm would decide whether to renew the contract or not.
Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti said the local authority was proud to host the project, adding that it was the first of its kind in the world in terms of producing biogas from water weeds as well as in terms of people served with biogas as cooking energy and distributed through a gas pipe network with pre-paid gas meters.
SWASCO Board chairperson Annie Tischer said the water utility firm was proud to host the biogas plant.
Copyright The Times of Zambia. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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