The Chisunka Chiefdom is located in the Northeast part of the Mansa District in Luapula Province in Zambia, Africa. The Chiefdom is located about 55 km (34 miles) from Mansa, the Provincial capital and 527 Km (327 miles) from the National Capital City, of Lusaka . The Chiefdom is a typical rural establishment, and one of four chiefdoms in this specific area that have with very cordial relationships with one another.
Geography and Demographics
Generally known as a sub-Saharan region, the climate of Zambia is “tropical”, and this varies depending on the altitude; There are two main seasons: the “rainy season” (late November – April) corresponding to ‘summer’, and the “dry season (May – November), corresponding to ‘winter’. The dry season is further divided into the cool/dry season (May – August), and the hot/dry season (September – early November). The altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather, as opposed to more tropical conditions for most of the year .
There were over 19,100 people living in the Chisunka Chiefdom according to the 2010 Census; there were almost 9000 males, over 10,000 females; over 50% of the total estimated population were under the age of 18. Chisunka Chiefdom surpassed the national average of infant, child, and maternal mortality. It is Chief Chisunka’s goal to increase health and education programs.
Originating from the Mwata Yamvo Kingdom, (what is now Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and the Northwest area of Zambia), the Chisunka Chiefdom has a very noble history. In the Chisunka Chiefdom, the last three chiefs have been: Chisunka IV, reigning from 1936-1977, Chisunka V, from 1977-2002, and Chisunka VI, reigning from 2002 to the present. In the area where chief Chisunka’s chiefdom is located, there have been 10 chiefs that have originated from this one Kingdom.
Health and Education
According to the Chisunka Chiefdom Development Strategic Plan (CCDSP) 2014-2017, Chisunka Chiefdom has relatively low literacy rate of 62.6% (compared to a national average 70.2%), primary school attendance rates of 64% (national ave.: 71.6%), and secondary school attendance rates at 35.9% (national ave.:45.5%); this is not unusual for rural areas but deserves attention.
Additionally, Chisunka Chiefdom has 10 primary schools, but no secondary schools; the closest secondary schools for boys and girls are over 40km away, in other chiefdoms. This has presented various challenges including unsafe temporary accommodations for student without parent protection or supervision, school dropouts, child marriages, HIV/AIDS and generational poverty. More importantly, Chisunka Chiefdom does not have tertiary education and skills training.
The chiefdom has three rural health centers (RHCs) all of which are understaffed and overwhelmed; patients have to walk or be transported distances of over 15 kilometers to access health care; two out of three health centers do not provide maternity care and it is not uncommon for pregnant mothers to have home births.
HIV/AIDS has had a huge impact on the chiefdom and only one of the two healthcare centers offer HIV services. Generally, households impacted by HIV/AIDS suffer the loss of income and resources. This results in poverty and a shift in family structure, culture and heritage.
Resources and Needs Assessments
According to the Chisunka Chiefdom Development Strategic Plan CCDSP (2014-2018), Chisunka Chiefdom is bestowed with relatively large reserves of minerals and gemstone. Without mechanization and technology to sustain any chiefdom mining operations, there is no significant potential for income generation and development.
Of all the Chiefdom’s natural most resources, Fertile soils present the most promise for future income generation and sustainability of livelihoods of that are available, although, current farming techniques combined with a lack of marketing skills have adversely affected farming as a livelihood.
Equally important to sustainability, is the need for the construction of a secondary school and vocational/trades school.
The needs assessments established the exigency for the development of local and international partnerships. This resulted in the proposal of a project designed around capital investment in farming and mining. Compass360 Missions has entered in a long term agreement with His Royal Highness (HRH) Chief Chisunka with goal to end generational poverty and provide for vulnerable children.
Compass 360 Missions was given 250 Hectares (a little over 600 acres) of land to develop educational and tertiary facilities. We will work with the Chiefdoms Development Trust, Faith leaders and the community to identify and prioritize relevant and culturally appropriate projects. Compass 360 Missions looks forward to working with HRH Chief Chisunka, as well as the people of Chisunka.