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Lusaka is the capital and one of the fastest-developing cities in Southern Africa. The City of Lusaka is situated in the central part of Zambia on the Central African Plateau and lies at an altitude of 1280m above sea level. The co-ordinates for Lusaka are 280-10’ east of the Greenwich meridian and 150-30’ south of the Equator. The district has a surface area of 360 square kilometres.

Lusaka district shares district boundaries with Chongwe in the east, Mumbwa in the west, Chisamba in the north and Chilanga district in the south. The central position of the City has made it to be one of the most important economic hub of Zambia as it provides the market for the absorption of the agriculture produce from all provinces.

The City of Lusaka also constitutes the centre of national and social amenities such as University Teaching Hospital (UTH), University of Zambia (UNZA), National Resource Development College (NRDC), and National Administration (Cabinet), government ministries and provincial heads offices. It is also a seat of all diplomatic missions accredited to Zambia.

Population distribution

According to the 2010 Census Report, the population density for Lusaka Province was 100.1 persons per square kilo- metre. The population density increased from 63.5 persons per square kilometer in 2000 to 100.1 persons per square kilometer in 2010, representing an increase in density of 36.6 persons per square kilometre. This section describes the demographic status of Lusaka district. In terms of population growth at district level, Lusaka has the highest population growth rate 4.9%, followed by Kafue district in Lusaka province.

Population by district, Lusaka province 2000 and 2010

Lusaka Province
Population 2000Population 2010Population Growth
Rate (2000-2010)
Lusaka Province1,391,3292,191,2254.6

Population density by district, Lusaka province 2010

DistrictsLand Size Square kilo
PopulationPerson Per Square
Kilo Metre
Lusaka Province21,8962,191,225100.1

Source CSO(2010)

The graph below show sampled household density per square kilometre per constituency



Lusaka is situated on a very flat area that covers approximately 360 km2. Escarpments lie to the east and north of Lusaka, which ends in the Luangwa Valley.

Forested areas can be found north and east of the city and Savannah woodlands to the southwest. Open deciduous woodland, locally known as “miombo” accounts for 80% of the forested areas, while Savannah woodland dominates the remaining areas. Vegetation types generally show a marked correspondence to the geological formations. The farming economy is based on mixed farming, with a strong emphasis put on maize and beef production.

The Lusaka Area forms part of the great mid-tertiary pen plain of Central Africa, which here stands at 1260m (4,200ft) above sea level. Flat-topped hills in the north of Lusaka, make a prominent quartzite horizon, are probably remains of a cretaceous pen plain. Geomorphology in detail is more complex and is primarily controlled by the geology.


The average temperature in Lusaka range between 9.60C July, and 28.90C in September, Lusaka has a dry climate for the majority of the year, but has a rainy climate that lasts for four months. The average rainfall for Lusaka is 650mm per year, with the highest rainfall during January an average of 220mm. The summer is characterised with periods of thunderstorm activity that often lasts for more than a week. Humidity rises to about 84% during January, but averages a monthly 62.8% during the remainder of the year. The annual average evapotranspiration is 2218mm.


Several rivers flow around Lusaka and a few streams flow through the city. However, surface water is little and no large water bodies are present in Lusaka. The Kafue River flows about 50km south of Lusaka, outside the city boundaries. Water is obtained from the Kafue River at an extraction rate of 10500m 3 /day, accounting for 50% of the city’s water supply, the city obtains the remainder of its water supply from underground water and the pumping rate is 110000 m3 /day.

Environmental Concerns

The city streams do not formally form part of the city’s water supply due to pollution from sewer system, although they provide water for domestic use in most of the high density settlements.
The limestone and dolomite overburden provides an aquifer
Mainly Schist, Limestone and Dolomites underlie the Greater Lusaka area. In areas of carbonate rocks, particularly on the Dolomite Formations, un weathered rock is relatively near the surface and some blasting may be necessary to level off foundation areas as well as for the construction of drains, sewers and pipelines. These naturally result in an increased infrastructure cost.
Although there have been no specific recorded instances, where development has been damaged by geographical phenomena, it may be concluded that a detailed soil mechanics investigation should be carried out, before starting the design of any important foundation or underground work.

District Administration

District Administration supervises, co-ordinates and monitors the operations of Government departments’ parastatals and co-operating Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and collaborates with the Local Authorities, which includes the formulation and implementation of development projects and programmes in developing the district. This is done to promote integrated development planning through structure like District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC).

District Council

The District Council is the elected representatives’ Local Authority body comprising civic leaders who translate government developmental vision to communities and demands from the communities back to government in a transparent manner and it is responsible for policy formulation as well as delivery of service in a given geographical area. The ultimate power remains in the hands of the governed. It is through this exercise of governing power that Lusaka district’s good or bad governance can be realized.

Political System, Governance and Traditional Leadership

Lusaka District has seven (7) Constituencies and Thirty (33) Wards. There are two indigenous tribes namely, the Solis and the Lenjes. The Wards are smaller geographical demarcations in the seven (7) larger constituencies that constitute the broader boundary jurisdiction of the greater Lusaka City. From each constituency, one political leader is elected by popular vote as a Member of Parliament representing the community in the National Assembly, one councillor is elected in each ward and Two (2) chief’s representatives are nominated to sit on the Council.

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