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Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:27 - Updated Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:27

Longonjo growth returns hope to local population

Huambo - The signs of economic and social growth in the municipality of Longonjo, 64 kilometres west of the capital of central Huambo province, as a result of the 15 years of peace, are returning the hope to the population, by turning the place into a safe and reliable place for public and public investment.

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Huambo: Longonjo road road levelling works

Photo: Eurico Brito

Huambo: Houses built for young people in Longonjo

Photo: EDILSON DOMINGOS

By Aurélio Janeiro

 

An important national road route croses the municipal village, connecting connecting the provinces of Huambo, Benguela and Huíla, in addition to having a train station of the Benguela Railways, whose impact has led to the emergence of new commercial establishments and generation of new jobs, indispensable to the improvement of the living of the popuation.


The construction of various economic and social infrastructures leaves no doubt of the resurgence of the Longonjo, Umbundu origin name "ongondjo" (trunk bark).

The sectors of Housing, Health, Education, Energy and Water, Agriculture and Trade take the lead in this process.
 

In an interview with Angop,  Longonjo administrator, João Raul, said  that in the Industry sector, the main projects are the Lépi water plant and the production of organic fertilizers, while 93 other undertakings are licensed for Commerce.


He said that the hotel sector does not want to stand aloof, and two hotels and 20 tourist sites are thus offering comfort to hundreds of visitors, in addition to 75 monuments and sites.

As for agriculture, João Raul emphasised that the war days battlefields have given in to huge hectares of crop fields and, as a result, villagers are doing their best: working with devotion on the land to provide food self-sufficiency.


At present, 18,265 hectares of maize are grown, 6,878 of beans, 265 of soybeans, 2,000 and 652 of peanuts, 3, 424 of potato, 690 of sweet potato and 2,634 of horticultural crops.

The production is being carried out on 18 registered farms, with the participation of 59 peasant associations, out of 3,428 associates who grow corn, beans, potato, sweet potato, soybeans, peanuts and vegetables.
 

João Raul stated that the support provided by the Government to the peasant families, through the delivery of cattle and plows, is facilitating the practice of agriculture, with the help of animal traction, to the detriment of the manual activity, thus increasing the average cultivated land per family from 1,8 hectares to 2,5 per agricultural year.
 

Longonjo is also self-sufficient in the production of meat, due to the growth of livestock, being proof of this the existence of 26,341 head of cattle in the municipality, including 14,362 goats, 7,076 pirgs and 56,756 birds.

In this regard, the manager is planning to increase the productive and logistical potential of the municipality and thus enhance the agro-livestock capacity, to boost the agro-industrial value chain, aiming at reducing imports and boosting jobs and entrepreneurship.
 

Alike in other parts of the country, the social sector has also made important leaps, according to the municipal manager, since Education continues to grow from year to year, with 92 schools, 85 primary schools, One for  the 2nd cycle of the secondary education system, totalling 624 classrooms.
 

The schools accommodate 28,301 students, of which 23,382 in the primary education system, 3,588 in the first cycle and 1,330 in the second cycle of the secondary education system.

The sector controls 1,004 workers, 977 of whom are teachers.
 

With the achievement of peace, the distances travelled by the local population have been shortened for the search for medical care, since the region had 12 health units, including a municipal hospital with 24 beds.

The unit offers medical services in paediatrics, X-ray, clinical tests, nutrition, minor surgery, first aid, haemotherapy, pharmacy and mortuary.
 

The municipality's health patrimony includes a 24-bed maternal and child centre, where patients can have care in the areas of prenatal consultations, gynecology, child care, pharmacy, vaccine services and delivery room.

218 staff, among physicians, nurses and laboratory technicians, secure technical assistance.
 

Water and electricity are also a reality in people's lives; the municipal village and communes are totally illuminated, serving about 500 homes.
 

As for the water supply, the municipal town’s treatment and distribution system is being rehabilitated.

In other localities, the official explained that in the last five years they have benefitted from gravity and distribution systems, including the installation of 220

cranks and 13 small water systems within the framework of the "Water for All" programme.
 

In terms of public works, Longonjo administrator stated that 243 kilometres of secondary and tertiary roads have been levelled, as well as 20 bridges being built to facilitate trade between the countryside and the city.

João Raul revealed that the administration is also planning to build more bridges to facilitate the access to villages and production areas, along with the rehabilitation of secondary and tertiary roads.
 

Brief history of the municipality
The town of Longonjo, at the moment a village of the same name, was founded on 28 May 1918, with the establishment of the first adobe-like commercial outlet by the Portuguese Adriano Lourenço Maia.
 

According to history, the name Longonjo (Umbundu word of origin) is the plural of the word "ongondjo" (trunk bark in Portuguese), formerly used for the transportation of goods, with highlight to gravel and other objects for the construction of the Benguela Railway and roads.
 

From then on, as a result of the construction of new commercial outlets, social and industrial infrastructures, on 7 October 1963, the locality was promoted to the category of Administration of the Council, under Decree No. 12,925.
 

With a territorial area of 2,915 kilometres, the municipality of Longonjo has a population estimated at 92,103 inhabitants, in the localities of Lépi, Catabola, Chilata and in the municipal village.

With a humid tropical climate and two seasons - rainy, the longest, lasting seven months, and dry with five - has, among other natural resources, phosphate, copper, manganese and gold, according to studies of the Provincial Department of Industry, Geology and Mining.
 

It is bordered to the east by the municipality of Caála, to the west by the municipality of Ucuma, to the north by the municipality of Ecunha, both in the province of Huambo, and to the south by Huíla province.
 

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