Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails known as tracks. It is commonly referred to as train transport. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks consist of steel rails, installed on ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface. Rolling stock in a rail transport system encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars can be coupled into longer trains; the operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power by diesel engines.
Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport, when lower traffic levels are considered; the oldest known, man/animal-hauled railways date back to the 6th century BC in Greece. Rail transport commenced in mid 16th century in Germany in the form of horse-powered funiculars and wagonways. Modern rail transport commenced with the British development of the steam locomotives in the early 19th century, thus the railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George Stephenson built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use only the steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830.
With steam engines, one could construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Railways reduced the costs of shipping, allowed for fewer lost goods, compared with water transport, which faced occasional sinking of ships; the change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied little from city to city. The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time. Prior to this, major towns and cities varied their local time relative to GMT; the invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century. The world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, leading to electrification of tramways and rapid transit systems. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being complete by the 2000s.
During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and in some other countries. Many countries are in the process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has electrified its network. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use. Following a decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the context of concerns about global warming; the history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used. Evidence indicates that there was 6 to 8.5 km long Diolkos paved trackway, which transported boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece from around 600 BC.
Wheeled vehicles pulled by men and animals ran in grooves in limestone, which provided the track element, preventing the wagons from leaving the intended route. The Diolkos was in use for over 650 years, until at least the 1st century AD; the paved trackways were later built in Roman Egypt. In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria; the line used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel. The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is the oldest operational railway. Wagonways using wooden rails, hauled by horses, started appearing in the 1550s to facilitate the transport of ore tubs to and from mines, soon became popular in Europe; such an operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica. This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. There are many references to their use in central Europe in the 16th century; such a transport system was used by German miners at Cal
Sugarcane, or sugar cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, used for sugar production. It has stout, fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes; the plant is two to six metres tall. All sugar cane species can interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat and sorghum, many forage crops. Sucrose and purified in specialized mill factories, is used as raw material in the food industry or is fermented to produce ethanol. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity, with 1.9 billion tonnes produced in 2016, Brazil accounting for 41% of the world total. In 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated it was cultivated on about 26 million hectares, in more than 90 countries.
The global demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Cane accounts for 79% of sugar produced. Sugarcane predominantly grows in the subtropical regions. Other than sugar, products derived from sugarcane include falernum, rum, cachaça, ethanol. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats and thatch; the young, unexpanded inflorescence of Saccharum edule is eaten raw, steamed, or toasted, prepared in various ways in Southeast Asia, including Fiji and certain island communities of Indonesia. Sugarcane was an ancient crop of the Papuan people, it was introduced to Polynesia, Island Melanesia, Madagascar in prehistoric times via Austronesian sailors. It was introduced to southern China and India by Austronesian traders at around 1200 to 1000 BC; the Persians, followed by the Greeks, encountered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees" in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and spread sugarcane agriculture. Merchants began to trade in sugar from India, considered a luxury and an expensive spice.
In the 18th century AD, sugarcane plantations began in Caribbean, South American, Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations and the need for laborers became a major driver of large human migrations, both the voluntary in indentured servants. And the involuntary migrations, in the form of slave labor. Sugarcane is a tropical, perennial grass that forms lateral shoots at the base to produce multiple stems three to four m high and about 5 cm in diameter; the stems grow into cane stalk. A mature stalk is composed of 11–16% fiber, 12–16% soluble sugars, 2–3% nonsugars, 63–73% water. A sugarcane crop is sensitive to the climate, soil type, fertilizers, disease control and the harvest period; the average yield of cane stalk is 60–70 tonnes per hectare per year. However, this figure can vary between 30 and 180 tonnes per hectare depending on knowledge and crop management approach used in sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane is a cash crop, but it is used as livestock fodder. There are two centers of domestication for sugarcane: one for Saccharum officinarum by Papuans in New Guinea and another for Saccharum sinense by Austronesians in Taiwan and southern China.
Papuans and Austronesians primarily used sugarcane as food for domesticated pigs. The spread of both S. officinarum and S. sinense is linked to the migrations of the Austronesian peoples. Saccharum barberi was only cultivated in India after the introduction of S. officinarum. Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity. Beginning at around 6,000 BP they were selectively bred from the native Saccharum robustum. From New Guinea it spread westwards to Island Southeast Asia after contact with Austronesians, where it hybridized with Saccharum spontaneum; the second domestication center is mainland southern China and Taiwan where S. sinense was a primary cultigen of the Austronesian peoples. Words for sugarcane exist in the Proto-Austronesian languages in Taiwan, reconstructed as *təbuS or **CebuS, which became *tebuh in Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, it was one of the original major crops of the Austronesian peoples from at least 5,500 BP.
Introduction of the sweeter S. officinarum may have replaced it throughout its cultivated range in Island Southeast Asia. From Island Southeast Asia, S. officinarum was spread eastward into Polynesia and Micronesia by Austronesian voyagers as a canoe plant by around 3,500 BP. It was spread westward and northward by around 3,000 BP to China and India by Austronesian traders, where it further hybridized with Saccharum sinense and Saccharum barberi. From there it spread further into the Mediterranean; the earliest known production of crystalline sugar began in northern India. The exact date of the first cane sugar production is unclear; the earliest evidence of sugar production comes from ancient Pali texts. Around the 8th century and Arab traders introduced sugar from medieval India to the other parts of the Abbasid Caliphate in the Mediterranean, Egypt, North Africa, Andalusia. By the 10th century, sources state, it was among the early crops brought to the Americas by the Spanish Andalu
Zambia the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa. It neighbours the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, Angola to the west; the capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country. Inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region was affected by the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, the region became the British protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century; these were merged in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. For most of the colonial period, Zambia was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.
On 24 October 1964, Zambia became independent of the United Kingdom and prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party maintained power from 1964 until 1991. Kaunda played a key role in regional diplomacy, cooperating with the United States in search of solutions to conflicts in Rhodesia and Namibia. From 1972 to 1991 Zambia was a one-party state with the UNIP as the sole legal political party under the motto "One Zambia, One Nation". Kaunda was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 1991, beginning a period of social-economic growth and government decentralisation. Levy Mwanawasa, Chiluba's chosen successor, presided over Zambia from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, is credited with campaigns to reduce corruption and increase the standard of living. After Mwanawasa's death, Rupiah Banda presided as Acting President before being elected President in 2008. Holding office for only three years, Banda stepped down after his defeat in the 2011 elections by Patriotic Front party leader Michael Sata.
Sata died on 28 October 2014. Guy Scott served as interim president until new elections were held on 20 January 2015, in which Edgar Lungu was elected as the sixth President. In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world's fastest economically reformed countries; the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is headquartered in Lusaka. The territory of what is now Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911, it was renamed Zambia at independence in 1964. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river; the area of modern Zambia is known to have been inhabited by the Khoisan until around AD 300, when migrating Bantu began to settle around these areas. These early hunter-gatherer groups were either annihilated or absorbed by subsequent more organised Bantu groups. Archaeological excavation work on the Zambezi Valley and Kalambo Falls show a succession of human cultures. In particular, ancient camping site tools near the Kalambo Falls have been radiocarbon dated to more than 36,000 year ago.
The fossil skull remains of Broken Hill Man, dated between 300,000 and 125,000 years BC, further shows that the area was inhabited by early humans. The early history of the peoples of modern Zambia can only be gleaned from knowledge passed down by generations through word of mouth. In the 12th century, waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people were the first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the east near the "big sea"; the Nkoya people arrived early in the expansion, coming from the Luba–Lunda kingdoms in the southern parts of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola, followed by a much larger influx between the late 12th and early 13th centuries To the east, the Maravi Empire spanning the vast areas of Malawi and parts of modern northern Mozambique began to flourish under Kalonga. At the end of the 18th century, some of the Mbunda migrated to Barotseland, Mongu upon the migration of among others, the Ciyengele.
The Aluyi and their leader, the Litunga Mulambwa valued the Mbunda for their fighting ability. In the early 19th century, the Nsokolo people settled in the Mbala district of Northern Province. During the 19th century, the Ngoni and Sotho peoples arrived from the south. By the late 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were established in their current areas; the earliest European to visit the area was the Portuguese explorer Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century. Lacerda led an expedition from Mozambique to the Kazembe region in Zambia, died during the expedition in 1798; the expedition was from on led by his friend Francisco Pinto. This territory, located between Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Angola, was claimed and explored by Portugal in that period. Other European visitors followed in the 19th century; the most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through the "3 Cs": Christianity and Civilization. He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them the Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
He described them thus: "Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". Locally the falls are known as "Mosi-o-Tunya" or "thunder
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres; as of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south and west. English is the official language of the city, Nyanja and Bemba are common. Lusaka was the site of a village named after its Chief Lusaka, according to history, was located at Manda Hill, near where the Zambia's National Assembly building now stands. In the Nyanja language, Manda means graveyard; the area was expanded by European settlers in 1905 with the building of the railway. In 1935, due to its central location, its situation on the railway and at the crossroads of the Great North Road and Great East Road, it was chosen to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia.
After the federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia in 1953, it was a centre of the independence movement amongst some of the educated elite that led to the creation of the Republic of Zambia. In 1964, Lusaka became the capital of the newly independent Zambia. In recent years, Lusaka has become a popular urban settlement for tourists alike, its central nature and fast growing infrastructure sector have increased donor confidence and as such Zambians are seeing signs of development in the form of job creation, etc. It is thought that with proper and effective economic reforms, Lusaka as well as Zambia as a whole will develop considerably. Lusaka is home to a diverse community of foreign nationals, many of whom work in the aid industry as well as diplomats, representatives of religious organisations and some business people; as the national capital, Lusaka is the seat of the legislative and judicial branches of government, epitomized by the presence of the National Assembly, the State House, the High Court.
The Parliament is situated at the Parliament complex. The city is the capital of Lusaka Province, the smallest and most populous of the country's nine provinces, forms an administrative district run by Lusaka City Council. In 2007, the mayor was Steven Chilatu, the deputy mayor was Mary Phiri. List of mayors: F. Payne 1954–55. H. K. Mitchell 1955–56 Ralph Rich 1956–57 H. F. Tunaley 1957–58 H. K. Mitchell 1958–60 Jack Fischer 1960–61 Richard Sampson 1962–63 S. H. Chilesh 1964–65 W. Banda 1965–69 Fleefort Chirwa 1969–71? Simon C. Mwewa up to 1982List of Governors Simon C. Mwewa 1982 to 1983 Donald C. Sadoki Michael Sata Rupiah Banda Bautius Kapulu Lt. Muyoba – up to 1991List of Mayors – Multi-party era John Chilambwe 1993–94 Fisho Mwale 1994–96 Gilbert R. Zimba Local Government Administrator – 1996–99 Patricia Nawa Patrick Kangwa John Kabungo Levy Mkandawire Stephen Mposha Christine Nakazwe Stephen Chilatu Robert Chikwelete Daniel Chisenga Mulenga Sata Wilson Chisala Kalumba – 2016 – May 2018 Miles Sampa – July 2018 – present Zambia's largest institution of learning, the University of Zambia, is based in Lusaka.
Other universities and colleges located in Lusaka include: University of Lusaka, Zambia Open University, Chainama Hills College, Evelyn Hone College, Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies University, National Institute of Public Administration, Cavendish University, Lusaka Apex Medical University and DMI-St. Eugene University. Lusaka has some of the finest schools in Zambia, including the American International School of Lusaka, International School of Lusaka, Rhodes Park School, the Lusaka International Community School, the French International School, the Italian international School, the Lusaka Islamic Cultural and Educational Foundation, the Chinese International School, Baobab College. Rhodes Park School is not an international school, though there is a large presence of Angolans, Congolese, South Africans, Chinese; the children of the late President, Levy Mwanawasa as well as the children of Vice-President George Kunda, attend the Rhodes Park School. Other well known schools located in Lusaka include: Matero Boys' Secondary School, Roma Girls' Secondary School, Munali Boys' and Girls' Secondary Schools, Chudleigh House School, Kabulonga Boys' and Girls' Secondary Schools, Lake Road PTA School, David Kaunda Technical School, Ibex Hill School and St. Mary's Secondary School.
Most major world religions are represented in Lusaka with the outstanding majority belonging to Christianity, a large number belonging to Protestant churches. Attractions include Lusaka National Museum, the Political Museum, the Zintu Community Museum, the Freedom Statue, the Zambian National Assembly, the Agricultural Society Showgrounds, the Moore Pottery Factory, the Lusaka Playhouse theatre, two cinema, a cenotaph, a golf club, the Lusaka Central Sports Club, Kalimba Reptile Park, Monkey Pools and the zoo and botanical gardens of the Munda Wanga Environmental Park; the city is home to the University of Zambia. Along Great East Road are three of the largest shopping malls in Zambia: Arcades shopping mall, Eastpark shopping mall and Manda Hill shopping mall, revamped and is home to international stores such as Shoprite and Woolworths, a new movie theatre and many others; the city centre includes several blocks west of Cairo Road, around which lie the New City Market and Kamwala Market, a major shopping area, as well
Southern Province, Zambia
Southern Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces, home to Zambia's premier tourist attraction, Mosi-oa-Tunya, shared with Zimbabwe. The centre of the province, the Southern Plateau, has the largest area of commercial farmland of any Zambian province, produces most of the maize crop; the Zambezi River is the province's southern border, Lake Kariba, formed by the Kariba Dam, lies along the province's south-eastern edge. The eastern border is the Kariba Gorge and Zambezi, the north-east border is the Kafue River and its gorge, dividing it from Lusaka Province; the Kafue Flats lie within the province's northern border with Central Province. In the north west lies part of the famous Kafue National Park, the largest in Zambia, the lake formed by the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam; the south-western border with Western Province runs through the teak forests around Mulobezi which once supported a commercial timber industry and for which the Mulobezi Railway was built. The provincial capital is Choma; until 2011 the provincial capital was Livingstone City.
The Batonga are the largest ethnic group in the Province. A rail line and the Lusaka-Livingstone road forms the principal transport axis of the province, running through its centre and its farming towns: Kalomo, Pemba and Mazabuka. In addition to maize, other commercially important activities include sugar cane plantations at the edge of the Kafue Flats, cattle ranching. Southern Province has the only large source of fossil fuel in Zambia, the Maamba coal mine in the Zambezi valley, served by a branch line of the railway; as per the 2010 Zambian census, Southern Province had a population of 1,589,926 accounting to 12.08% of the total Zambian population of 13,092,666. There were 779,659 males and 810,267 females, making the sex ratio to 1,039 for every 1,000 males, compared to the national average of 1,028; the literacy rate stood at 71.20% against a national average of 70.2%. The rural population constituted 75.33%, while the urban population was 24.67%. The total area of the province was 85,283 km2 and the population density was 18.60 per km2.
The population density during 2000 Zambian census stood at 18.60. The decadal population growth of the province was 2.80%. The median age in the province at the time of marriage was 20.6. The average household size was 5.4, with the families headed by females being 4.6 and 5.7 for families headed by men. The total eligible voters in the province was 64.10%. The unemployment rate of the province was 12.10%. The total fertility rate was 6.1, complete birth rate was 6.2, crude birth rate was 37.0, child women population at birth was 807, general fertility rate was 160, gross reproduction rate was 2.5 and net reproduction rate was 1.8. The total labour force constituted 55.00% of the total population. Out of the labour force,64.1% were men and 46.7% women. The annual growth rate of labour force was 4.4%. Tonga was the most spoken language with 74.70% speaking it. Albinism is a condition where the victims do not have any pigment in hair or eyes; the total population in the province with the condition stood at 3,068.
The life expectancy at birth stood at 56 compared to the national average of 51. Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Southern Province with a mix of small holder and commercial maize farms across the province. Compared to other major agricultural regions, such as Eastern Province, Southern Province has more abundant land and access to water, but receives less rainfall. Southern Province is home to the "Sweetest Town in Zambia", where sugarcane farming and sugar processing are a major business; the total area of crops planted during the year 2014 in the province was 360,160.32 hectares which constituted 18.98% of the total area cultivated in Zambia. The net production stood at 688,122 metric tonnes, which formed 16.89% of the total agricultural production in the country. Sorghum was the major crop in the province with 4,695 metric tonnes, constituting 40.62% of the national output. Mazabuka grows 90% of sugar grown in Zambia with an estimated 430 tons produced annually. Sugarcane fields in Mazabuka are among the most productive in the world by hectare and low production costs allow production to compete on international markets.
Around 60 % of sugar is exported to other markets. However, the export industry is limited due to high transport costs linking processed sugar to export markets. Nationally, the sugar industry in Mazabuka contributes to around 4% of GDP each year; the sugar industry in Mazabuka made international news in 2013 when it was discovered that Zambia Sugar, the biggest sugar company in the country, had paid nothing in corporate taxes to Zambia in the previous 5 years. Southern Province and Eastern Province are the two primary breadbaskets of Zambia. Southern Province produces more than 600,000 metric tons of maize each year from a combination of commercial, which are unique to Southern Province, smallholder farms. Despite poor rains in recent years and a strong El Nino weather cycle in 2016, Zambian maize output has been predicted to continue to grow. Growth in Southern Province and across the country has allowed Zambia to remain a net-exporter of maize to food insecure neighboring countries, such as Zimbabwe and Malawi which have been hit more by the weather.
As of 2004, the province had 995 basic schools, 45 high schools and the number of school children out of school in ages between 7 and 15 stood at 995. The unemployment rate was 7 per cent and the general unemployment rate for youth stood at 6 per cent as of 2008; the province had 50 doctors as of 2005. There were 344 Malaria incidence for every 1,000 people in the province as of 2005 and there were 12,403 AIDS death as of 2010. Southern Province is bordered along Zimbabwe in the south divided by Victoria Fall
A plantation is the large-scale estate meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, tea, sugar cane, oil seeds, oil palms, rubber trees, fruits. Protectionist policies and natural comparative advantage have sometimes contributed to determining where plantations were located. A plantation house is the main house of a plantation a substantial farmhouse, which serves as a symbol for the plantation as a whole. Plantation houses in the Southern United States and in other areas are known as quite grand and expensive architectural works today, though most were more utilitarian, working farmhouses. Among the earliest examples of plantations were the latifundia of the Roman Empire, which produced large quantities of wine and olive oil for export. Plantation agriculture grew with the increase in international trade and the development of a worldwide economy that followed the expansion of European colonial empires. Like every economic activity, it has changed over time.
Industrial plantations are established to produce a high volume of wood in a short period of time. Plantations are grown by state forestry authorities and/or the paper and wood industries and other private landowners. Christmas trees are grown on plantations as well. In southern and southeastern Asia, teak plantations have replaced the natural forest. Industrial plantations are managed for the commercial production of forest products. Industrial plantations are large-scale. Individual blocks are even-aged and consist of just one or two species; these species can be indigenous. The plants used for the plantation are genetically altered for desired traits such as growth and resistance to pests and diseases in general and specific traits, for example in the case of timber species, volumic wood production and stem straightness. Forest genetic resources are the basis for genetic alteration. Selected individuals grown in seed orchards are a good source for seeds to develop adequate planting material. Wood production on a tree plantation is higher than that of natural forests.
While forests managed for wood production yield between 1 and 3 cubic meters per hectare per year, plantations of fast-growing species yield between 20 and 30 cubic meters or more per hectare annually. In 2000, while plantations accounted for 5% of global forest, it is estimated that they supplied about 35% of the world's roundwood. In the first year, the ground is prepared by the combination of burning, herbicide spraying, and/or cultivation and saplings are planted by human crew or by machine; the saplings are obtained in bulk from industrial nurseries, which may specialize in selective breeding in order to produce fast growing disease- and pest-resistant strains. In the first few years until the canopy closes, the saplings are looked after, may be dusted or sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides until established. After the canopy closes, with the tree crowns touching each other, the plantation is becoming dense and crowded, tree growth is slowing due to competition; this stage is termed'pole stage'.
When competition becomes too intense, it is time to thin out the section. There are several methods for thinning, but where topography permits, the most popular is'row-thinning', where every third or fourth or fifth row of trees is removed with a harvester. Many trees are removed, leaving regular clear lanes through the section so that the remaining trees have room to expand again; the removed trees are delimbed, forwarded to the forest road, loaded onto trucks, sent to a mill. A typical pole stage plantation tree is 7–30 cm in diameter at breast height; such trees are sometimes not suitable for timber, but are used as pulp for paper and particleboard, as chips for oriented strand board. As the trees grow and become dense and crowded again, the thinning process is repeated. Depending on growth rate and species, trees at this age may be large enough for timber milling. Around year 10-60 the plantation is falling off the back side of its growth curve; that is to say, it is passing the point of maximum wood growth per hectare per year, so is ready for the final harvest.
All remaining trees are felled and taken to be processed. The ground is cleared, the cycle can be restarted; some plantation trees, such as pines and eucalyptus, can be at high risk of fire damage because their leaf oils and resins are flammable to the point of a tree being explosive under some conditions. Conversely, an afflicted plantation can in some cases be cleared of pest species cheaply through the use of a prescribed burn, which kills all lesser plants but does not harm the mature trees. Many forestry experts claim that the establishment of plantations will reduce or eliminate the need to exploit natural forest for wood production. In principle this is true. Many point to the example of New Zealand, where 19% of the forest area provides 99% of the supply of industrial round wood, it has been estimated that the world's demand for fiber could be met by just 5% of the world fores
The Kafue Flats are a vast area of swamp, open lagoon and seasonally inundated flood-plain on the Kafue River in the Southern and Lusaka provinces of Zambia. They are a shallow flood plain 240 km long and about 50 km wide, flooded to a depth of less than a meter in the rainy season, drying out to a clayey black soil in the dry season; the Kafue Flats stretch for 240 km east to west along the Kafue River from below the Itezhi-Tezhi gap, site of the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam, to Kafue town and the start of the Kafue Gorge. At their widest point they are 50 km wide and their total area is around 6,500 sq km; the elevation of the Kafue river falls 40 m along the flats from 1030 m at Itezhi-Tezhi to 990 m at Kafue town. The town of Mazabuka and the Nakambala sugar estate lie on the south east edge and the small town of Namwala is situated at the south west edge of the flats; the Kafue Flats fall within parts of the Itezhi-Tezhi and Mumbwa Districts in Central Province, Kafue District in Lusaka Province and Monze and Mazabuka districts in Southern Province.
The Batwa are thought to have been the first inhabitants of the Kafue Flats area but are now a small minority population settled on higher ground around the Kafue river channel where they support themselves through fishing. The Batwa are considered to be the surviving remnants of nomadic Bushmen who inhabited Zambia long before the Bantu peoples began to arrive from the Congo basin to the north; the area is now dominated by Ila and Balundwe farmers and cattle herders, in at least 21 chieftaincies, who came to the area between 200 and 300 years ago. They depended on farming, cattle rearing and wildlife moving between a fixed settlement in the woodlands and cattle camps in the flats after the floods have receded. In addition to the settled community there is a seasonal influx of fishing communities from other parts of the country; these immigrants are Bemba from the north of the country and the Copperbelt area, Lozi from the Western Province. The population has increased since the 1970s and by 2004 there were at least 11 major permanent fishing camps on the flats each of, occupied by at least 500 fishermen.
In addition there were a large number of temporary fishing camps established during the dry season. In some cases the Batwa are marginalised from other ethnic groups the Bemba and the Lozi fishermen who consider them inferior. By contrast the Ila are held in high regard by other groups due to their history of being one of the richest cattle-owning groups in the region, although fishing and hunting plays an significant role in their culture; the hydrology of the Kafue River and Kafue Flats have been altered by the construction in the 1970s of two dams, firstly at Kafue Gorge downstream of the flats and at Itezhi-Tezhi upstream of the flats as parts of a scheme to generate hydroelectric power. The Kafue Gorge Dam, with 600MW of hydroelectric power generation, was completed in 1972 creating a reservoir downstream of the Kafue Flats with a storage capacity of 785 million m3. To enable more power generation another 65m high dam at Itezhi-Tezhi, upstream of the Kafue Flats, was completed in 1976.
The reservoir stores 5,700 million m3 of water and covers a 370 sq km area of the Kafue River and its tributary the Musa River. The Itezhi-Tezhi Dam stores water during the wet season, released for the turbines at the Kafue Gorge Dam and power station during the dry season. Water takes eight weeks to travel between Itezhi-tezhi and Kafue Gorge. Prior to construction of the dam at Itezhi-Tezhi, flooding of the Kafue Flats was the result of high flows within the Kafue River beginning to rise following the onset of the rains in November to December and with the peak flood occurring sometime between April and May; the flats would subsequently drain with little surface water remaining by October to November the following year. Releases from Itezhi-Tezhi dam are different to the historical flows experienced within the Kafue River with the smooth annual rise and fall in discharge being replaced by sudden increases as large volumes of water are released from the dam. A substantial discharge is now maintained throughout the dry season whereas this period is associated with lower river flows.
Although maximum floods may have been reduced as a result of the dam, the year-round releases means that parts of the flats, for instance Chunga Lagoon, now remain permanently flooded. In addition, the Kafue Gorge Dam has created a large reservoir which back up into the eastern end of the flats leading to areas of permanent inundation; the Kafue Flats include the Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon National Parks. Both parks were established in the 1970s on land used for cattle ranching; the 428 sq km Lochinvar National Park, famous for large numbers of Kafue lechwe, sits south of the Kafue river and is accessible from the Lusaka-Livingstone road at Monze. Lochinvar National Park has one of the highest numbers of vulnerable wattled crane in Africa. Blue Lagoon National park, north of the Kafue, can be accessed from the Lusaka-Mongu road west of Lusaka; the 500 sq km park is home to a large abundance and variety of waterbirds as well as lechwe, sitatunga and African buffalo.6,000 sq km of the Kafue Flats outside of the two national parks are covered by the Kafue Flats Game Management Area.
The GMA affords protection to the environment and wildlife whilst still allowing for the sustainable use of natural resources. The Kafue Flats were entered onto the Ramsar list