Kafue is a town in the
Lusaka Provinceof Zambiaon the north bank of the Kafue River, after which it is named. It is the southern gateway to the central Zambian plateauon which Lusakaand the miningtowns of Kabweand the Copperbeltare located.Camerapix: "Spectrum Guide to Zambia." Camerapix International Publishing, Nairobi, 1996.]
Kafue is at the south-eastern foot of a range of granite hills rising 200 m and extending over an area of about 250 km², and occupies a shelf of land between the hills and the river, just high enough to avoid its annual flood. The town extends along some shallow valleys between the hills. A 400 m wide strip of small farms and gardens separates the town from a bend of the river which is about 300 m wide in the dry season and 1.3 km wide in the rainy season, sometimes inundating a floodplain 10 km wide on the opposite bank, which consequently is uninhabited save for a few small villages or farms on higher ground. [http://earth.google.com Google Earth] accessed 2007.]
Transport link s
The Kafue River's 50-km wide
floodplain, the Kafue Flats, is a 240 km long east-west barrier to road and rail connections between the centre of the country and the south. Kafue lies at the eastern end of the floodplain where the river enters the Kafue Gorgeand flows down the Zambezi Escarpmentinto the middle Zambezi rift valley. Consequently it's strategically located at the only place where north-south road and rail can easily cross the Kafue River and squeeze through the gap between floodplain and escarpment. The Kafue Railway Bridgeon the Lusaka–Livingstone line is at the south end of the town, and the Kafue Bridge9km to south-east carries one of the busiest sections of the Great North Road across the river and brings it through the town, from where it continues 50 km north to Lusaka. In the other direction the road connects to the Zimbabweborder at the Chirundu Bridge, and the main southern highway to Livingstone, Botswana and Namibia branches off it just south of the Kafue Bridge.Terracarta/International Travel Maps, Vancouver Canada: "Zambia, 2nd edition", 2000]
The river is not used for commercial water transport. To the west it is too shallow and meandering and does not go near any centres of population, to the east is not navigable due to the Kafue Gorge and dam. However, subsistence fishing and recreational boating and sports fishing takes place on a 60 km stretch of the river above the dam.
According to its 2000 Census, Kafue has a total population of 162,262, of which 83,421 are males and 78,841 are females. [http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/01/20/000160016_20040120114945/Rendered/INDEX/E8450VOL105010PAPER.txt World Bank website:"Environmental Impact Statement for the Lusaka-Chirundu Road"] accessed 1 March 2007.]
Agriculture and fishing are the traditional occupations of the area, and a commercial faming area extends along the edge of the Kafue Flats for 35 km north-west of the town. Commercial fishing operations of any size are limited to fish farming. Kafue has a larger proportion of manufacturing industries than most other towns outside the Copperbelt, having an industrial estate with housing and services called Kafue Estates. The industries there include:
* Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (agricultural
* Bata Tannery (shoe leather)
TextilesOther industries in or near the town:
* Kafue Fisheries Ltd is 9 km west of Kafue Estates and comprises 1.5 km² of fish ponds integrated with pig farming, with a separate a game farm and tourist lodge. [ [http://www.lechwelodge.com/activities.htm Lechwe Lodge website] accessed 1 March 2007]
* Kafue Quarry produces
construction aggregatefor road building and general construction.
Kafue Gorge Damgenerates hydroelectricity30 km downstream from the town, and at the end of the rainy season its reservoirextends back to the town.
* a cement works is proposed. [ http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?sid=4&aid=32&dir=2008/June/Thursday26 ]
Reference and External Links
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