General Characteristics of the Province
Luapula province is one of the ten provinces in Zambia. It is situated between latitude 8 – 12 degrees south of the Equator and Longitude 28 – 30 degrees east of the Greenwich Meridian. The province is located in the North – eastern part of Zambia and covers an area of 50,567 square kilometers (which is about 6% of the total area of Zambia). The province shares its borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo in the South, South-western and North, in the east with Northern Province and in the South-east with Central Province.
The four major physical features are the valley along the Luapula River, the plateau running parallel to the river in the north-south direction, then Lake Mweru in the northern Chienge and Nchelenge districts and Bangweulu in Samfya district. The last characteristics feature is the swampy areas to the east and south of Lake Bangweulu.
Altitude ranges from 900m in Luapula valley to 1,300m on the Kawambwa Plateau, which are divided by the Muchinga escarpment running north to south water bodies, including the Bangweulu swamps and Lake Mweru that covers 40% of the area of the province.
Luapula province has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons; a cool dry season from April to August, a hot dry season from August to October and a warm wet season from November through to April. Mean monthly temperature ranges from 16o C to 24o C in October with the valley recording temperatures higher than 24oC in October.
The province falls in the high rainfall belt classified as region III with an average annual rainfall of over 1000mm. Rainfall levels are high throughout the province (1,115 – 1,500mm per annum) with the Northern plateau areas and the Bangweulu swamps receiving the most.
Most of the population of Luapula province is concentrated around the lakes and river valleys, where fishing is there main source of livelihood and along the main roads for ease accessibility to transport for their farm produce to the nearest markets. According to the 2010 Central Statistical Office (CSO) Census of Housing and Population, the total population for Luapula Province stands at 991,927 out of which 797,407 is in the rural areas and 194,520 is in the urban areas. Also, of this total population, 49.3% (488,589) are males while 50.7% (503,338) are females. Pertaining to age brackets (Age Groups), the proportions of the total population of the age between 0 and 15, 15 and 24, 15 and 64 and that of 64 and above are 47.9%, 19.0%, 49.5% and 2.7% respectively. From the above statistics, it is apparent that the large proportion of the provincial population is still youthful and active creating a solid buffer for employment and engagement into economic activities to develop the province.
Vision, Mission Statement and Goal
The vision of the province is to have, “a poverty free province by the year 2030”which is anchored on the mission statement, “To effectively and efficiently promote and coordinate sustainable Development in the Province in order to ensure quality and timely service delivery to the Community in a transparent, accountable and equitable manner”. The ultimate goal of the province is, “to achieve increased and equitable access to quality socio – economic services in investment opportunities that are available in the province specifically in the following key investment areas: Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Energy, Tourism and Mining in order to promote a high standard of living for Luapula Province”