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Ndola

The meaning of «ndola»

Ndola is the second city in Zambia in terms of infrastructural development and third in terms of size and population, with a population of 475,194 (2010 census provisional), after the capital, Lusaka, and Kitwe. It is the industrial and commercial center of the Copperbelt, Zambia's copper-mining region, and capital of Copperbelt Province. It lies just 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the border with DR Congo. It is also home to Zambia's first modern stadium, the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

What is now Ndola was first inhabited by the Lamba people led by Senior Chief Chiwala, in the 1600s, migrants from what is now Tanzania. The name Ndola is derived from the river, which originates in the Kaloko Hills and drains in the Kafubu river. [1]

The town of Ndola was founded in 1904, by John Edward "Chiripula" Stephenson just six months after Livingstone, making it the second oldest colonial-era town of Zambia. It was started as a boma and trading post, which laid its foundations as an administrative and trading centre today.

The Rhodesia Railways main line reached the town in 1907, providing passenger services as far south as Bulawayo, with connections to Cape Town.[2] The line was extended into DR Congo and from there eventually linked to the Benguela Railway to the Atlantic port of Lobito (which took some of Zambia's copper exports for many years with recent interruptions by closures; the rail line is now back in service). The Ndola railhead was responsible for the town becoming the country's centre of distribution. Before the road network was built up in the 1930s, a track from Ndola to Kapalala on the Luapula River, and boat transport from there to the Chambeshi River was the principal trade route for the Northern Province, which consequently formed part of Ndola's hinterland.

In 1961, an airplane carrying key United Nations figures, including the organisation's second Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, crashed on the outskirts of Ndola.

Ndola has a moderate humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa).

Once the largest industrial centre of Zambia, boasting, among many high-powered sites, company facilities including a Land Rover vehicle assembly plant, Dunlop Tire manufacture, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever, Ndola's economy shrank significantly between 1980 and 2000. Many closed factories and plants lie unoccupied in the town. A number of former industries such as clothing and vehicle assembly have disappeared completely.[4] Even though the term 'ghost town' can no longer apply to it, Ndola is yet to regain its economic glory of pre-1980 days.

There are no mines in Ndola itself, but the Bwana Mkubwa open-cast mine is only 10 km south-east of the city centre. Until their closure, copper and precious metals used to be brought from elsewhere in the Copperbelt for processing at the Ndola Copper Refinery and Precious Metals Refinery. Copper exports provide 70–80% of Zambia's export earnings, making the city very important to the country's economy.

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