Saturday, August 25, 2007


Situated at about 48km from Lusaka (the capital city of Zambia), this sleepy town which derives its name from the Kafue River is slowly waking up and thanks to the efforts of the political leaders. Flanked by the Munali Hills to the east, the setting is almost picturesque. The town and especially the Estates (a garden like complex of low to medium dwellings and retail business operations) was founded on the premise that it would be an industrial giant that will eventually decongest Lusaka. It would serve as the economic growth pole of the predominantly rural hinterland. Thus the Nitrogen Chemicals plant was located here. It miserably underperformed and now operates at just a fraction of its potential. A few other operations were set up such as the Kafue Textiles which still produces the chitenje or wrappers for women besides sheets and other fabrics. Brick works and an abattoir/leather tanning plant were added to the list of industrial operations. These industries have just limped all along and the growth in social and other economic infrastructures that was envisaged never materialized. As a result, the living quarters for the workers that were designed in an Estate like manner have collapsed.

In recent years however, there has been a movement towards resuscitating the town. A metal fabricating company is under construction (see photo) and a new hospital to serve the burgeoning population has been completed. A piece of land has been set aside to construct a private university (Cavendish) which at the moment operates from Lusaka. I can only wish Kafue well and look forward to seeing a vibrant town in the near future.

1 comment:

Franco said...

I have been in Kafue from september 1994 till july 1996 at Saint Ambrose Trade Centre, in the hills around Kafue Town