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Mbanza Kongo: A growing heritage

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Despite international recognition, by UNESCO, this historic Angolan city, with almost 155 thousand inhabitants, is still far from achieving the desired social and economic development. The development of Mbanza Kongo has been slow and gradual, especially at a time when studies on its centuries-old and ancient archaeological materials are multiplying. The region celebrates the important anniversary in the face of heavy challenges, fundamentally linked to the construction of new infrastructure, to improve the image, and in terms of cleaning services. However, it already shows encouraging signs in several domains, with emphasis on education, energy and water, health, agriculture, roads and basic sanitation. Education is, in fact, one of the fastest growing sectors in recent years, and today the city has a total of 75 schools. Of this range, 52 are from primary education, 10 schools from the 1st cycle, eight school complexes, four schools from the 2nd cycle of secondary education and one from teacher training. This academic year alone, thanks to the improvements achieved in the creation of new school infrastructures, a total of 55,270 students are enrolled in this location. Compared to the past academic year, there were an increase of 5,200 students who, for the first time, entered the normal education system in the host city. As for the teaching staff, the municipality of Mbanza Kongo controls 1,304 teachers, of which 608 for primary education, 516 for the 1st cycle and 180 teachers for the 2nd cycle of secondary education. To allow the inclusion of 6,978 children in the education system, two schools are being built, with 8 and 12 classrooms, within the framework of the Integrated Intervention Program in the Municipalities.


In turn, in the field of Health, there are also substantial improvements in the city, which has a health network of 41 units, of which 28 are public. The sector has 226 technicians, including nine doctors and 135 nurses. Malaria, typhoid fever, diarrheal and acute respiratory diseases are the most common pathologies. According to local authorities, there are projects for the construction and rehabilitation of health centers and posts in various communes in the municipality, with a view to bringing health services closer to the population. In the energy and water sectors, there are also clear signs of growth, with the inhabitants of Mbanza Kongo today having fewer complaints. Since July 2017, the city has had electricity from the national grid, with an electrical substation of 60/15 KV, with a capacity of 40 MW, of which only 12 MW are consumed. As for the water sector, a new collection, treatment and distribution system, in operation since December 2019, serves more than 100 thousand consumers. With a capacity to pump 525 cubic meters / hour, the new water supply system was built from the Lueji River, outside the city of Mbanza Kongo.


Meanwhile, there are visible difficulties in the agriculture sector, although the municipality of Mbanza Kongo is potentially agricultural, especially in terms of tubers. The locality produces, on a large scale, cassava, jinguba, banana, sesame, pumpkin, beans, corn, macunde beans, pineapple, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and citrus fruits. The main difficulty for relaunching the sector is the lack of machines to prepare the soil. Even so, the agricultural sector in the region prepared and cultivated, manually, during this agricultural season, about 12 thousand hectares, with different products. The municipality controls 170 agricultural associations and cooperatives, which periodically receive support from agricultural inputs by the municipal administration. However, to change the image of the city, the local administration plans to plant 1,000 seedlings of ornamental plants in the main arteries of the city of Mbanza Kongo. However, the number of plants is below the extent, and, in a first phase, the urban area will be contemplated, while waiting for more plants to cover the peripheral area. As for the basic sanitation of the city, one of the main problems of the municipal administration, it seems that the days are numbered, taking into account the launch of a public tender to find the company that will be in charge of the collection of solid waste. The intention is to make Mbanza Kongo an increasingly clean and attractive city. Associated with this, a new model of cleaning and basic sanitation in the city called "Meu Quarteirão Cuido Eu", which aims to directly engage the citizens in cleaning the areas of residence. The program has been in implementation since the beginning of this month. Communication routes In another domain, within the framework of the Integrated Plan for Intervention in Municipalities (PIIM), 15 kilometers of road will be intervened, in the neighborhoods Sagrada Esperança (Cazanga), Martins Kidito and 11 de Novembro, on the outskirts of the city of Mbanza Kongo. Although the amount to be invested is unknown, it is factual that the works consist of earthwork and soil compaction, to provide greater mobility. The rehabilitation of urban roads, under the responsibility of the provincial government of Zaire, will be carried out later this year, with more than 10 kilometers to be repaired. Framed in the third phase of urban roads (the first and second phases took place in 2014 and 2016), the project consists, in addition to the laying of asphalt carpet, in the construction of technical public lighting networks. It also includes rainwater collectors, wastewater drains, telecommunications, drinking water, with sidewalks and curbs. The city of Mbanza Kongo has an estimated population of 155 thousand and 174 inhabitants distributed in five neighborhoods: Sagrada Esperança, Martins Kidito, Álvaro Buta, 11 November and 4 February.

Source: angop