Mpika

Mpika
Mpika is located in Zambia
Mpika
Mpika
Location in Zambia
Coordinates: 11°51′00″S 30°31′00″E / 11.85000°S 30.51667°E / -11.85000; 30.51667Coordinates: 11°51′00″S 30°31′00″E / 11.85000°S 30.51667°E / -11.85000; 30.51667
CountryFlag of Zambia.svg Zambia
ProvinceMuchinga Province
DistrictMpika District
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Location of Mpika in Zambia

Mpika is a town in the Muchinga Province of Zambia, lying at the junction of the M1 Road to Kasama and Mbala and the Tanzam Highway (Great North Road) to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in the north-east and Lusaka in the south-west. It also has a railway station on the TAZARA Railway about 5 kilometres (3 mi) away. Mpika is situated between the Muchinga Escarpment to the east and vast miombo plains to the west. The town has an estimated population of 40,000 inhabitants (2008), while the district population is estimated at 150,000 inhabitants. Since Mpika District was the biggest district in Zambia before its division in 2017, the population density was less than 4 people per square kilometre.

History

In about 1930, Mpika was selected as a way-point on the air route from Europe to South Africa, and an airfield was built there. Gervas Clay, wife to Betty Clay, was posted to Luwingu in 1930 as a Provincial Administrator in Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service.[1] One of his tasks was to arrange for the purchase and transport of dried fish and maize to Mpika to supply the construction workers.

His letters from England came out by sea to Cape Town, by rail to Broken Hill (now Kabwe), by lorry from Kapiri Mposhi to Mpika (280 miles) and Kasama (another 136 miles), and from Kasama by runner to Luwingu (124 miles).[2] The mailman was clad in a red fez and scarlet tunic and shorts, and barefoot, and referred to as a "Scarlet Runner". Previously, the Great North Road (also known as the Great North Rut) was an earth road, marked by an incredible number of pot-holes.[2] By 1939, his letters to and from home travelled by air – from "Scarlet runner" to airmail in only nine years which indicated the rapid pace of change in Central Africa at this time.

Climate

Mpika has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa).

Climate data for Mpika
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.4
(86.7)
31.0
(87.8)
30.5
(86.9)
30.1
(86.2)
31.0
(87.8)
29.2
(84.6)
29.2
(84.6)
31.5
(88.7)
33.8
(92.8)
37.7
(99.9)
34.5
(94.1)
32.4
(90.3)
37.7
(99.9)
Average high °C (°F) 25.7
(78.3)
26.2
(79.2)
26.0
(78.8)
25.3
(77.5)
24.2
(75.6)
22.9
(73.2)
22.5
(72.5)
24.3
(75.7)
27.8
(82.0)
29.7
(85.5)
28.6
(83.5)
26.0
(78.8)
25.8
(78.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.9
(67.8)
19.9
(67.8)
20.0
(68.0)
19.4
(66.9)
17.5
(63.5)
15.6
(60.1)
15.4
(59.7)
17.5
(63.5)
20.9
(69.6)
22.6
(72.7)
22.1
(71.8)
20.1
(68.2)
19.2
(66.6)
Average low °C (°F) 16.0
(60.8)
16.1
(61.0)
15.9
(60.6)
14.8
(58.6)
12.4
(54.3)
9.8
(49.6)
9.2
(48.6)
10.8
(51.4)
13.7
(56.7)
16.0
(60.8)
16.5
(61.7)
16.2
(61.2)
13.9
(57.0)
Record low °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
12.8
(55.0)
11.2
(52.2)
8.4
(47.1)
2.4
(36.3)
2.7
(36.9)
1.1
(34.0)
3.6
(38.5)
6.0
(42.8)
7.9
(46.2)
5.0
(41.0)
12.6
(54.7)
1.0
(33.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 239.2
(9.42)
230.4
(9.07)
163.9
(6.45)
39.4
(1.55)
5.4
(0.21)
0.2
(0.01)
0.1
(0.00)
0.1
(0.00)
2.4
(0.09)
10.4
(0.41)
93.8
(3.69)
254.7
(10.03)
1,040
(40.94)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 22 19 16 6 1 0 0 0 0 2 10 22 98
Average relative humidity (%) 82.4 80.6 78.1 73.9 67.5 61.7 56.2 51.5 43.8 47.0 58.2 77.1 64.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 124.0 134.4 179.8 216.0 285.2 264.0 291.4 303.8 291.0 291.4 213.0 124.0 2,718
Source: NOAA[3]

Transport

The Great North Road is in steady state of repair[when?], still it take from Lusaka (ca. 640 km) around 8 hours,[citation needed] Kasama (ca. 210 km) is appr. 3 hours away[citation needed] and Nakonde (Zambian Border Post to Tanzania, 380 km) appr. 5 hours.[citation needed] Several bus operators offer coach services in all directions, but operate only over day (Lusaka to Mpika estm. US$20).[citation needed] In 2007, an extension of Malawi Railways From Mchinji and Chipata to Mpika was proposed, with a junction linking with the TAZARA Railway.[4]

Tourism and infrastructure

The tourism sector is growing steadily in and around Mpika. Mpika Tourism Association is a newly founded non-profit organisation providing information and linkages to local accommodation and service providers; the information centre/office is situated at Bayama's Lodge behind Continental Filling Station.[citation needed] Mpika town offers a good market with local products, 5 filling stations, GM Trading supermarket, accommodation of all standards. Various piturescque waterfalls are situated in the whole region. North- and South Luangwa National Parks are just 5–8 hours away, but the roads are seasonal (please ask at info-centre). Touristic Highlights of the region are Shiwa Ng'andu (colonial style manor house), Kapishya Hotsprings, Mutinondo Wilderness Camp, Nachikufu caves (rock paintings).[citation needed]

Education

Many local schools are battling in bad infrastructure with overcrowded classrooms and teachers shortages. TAZARA workshops offers the biggest training centre of railway related education in whole Zambia, several other regional colleges offer further education in teaching, mid-wifery, nursing, farmers- and skills training.[citation needed] In the 1970s the Swedish government aid agency SIDA founded ZCA (Zambia College for Agriculture).[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Gervas Clay | Home".
  2. ^ a b http://www.spanglefish.com/northernrhodesiajournal/library.asp "Early days in NR"
  3. ^ "Mpika MET Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "Extending beyond Chipata". Railways Africa. November 2007.
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