Originally called Broken Hill, Kabwe was founded in 1902 when lead and zinc deposits were found. The town which is the centre of the provincial district, grew up around the mines. Most of those mines have now closed but the population remains, unemployment is high and social discontent is a problem.
The official population in 2010 was 204,000 but with an estimated 100,000 in Makalulu compound on the southern edge of the town, the true figure is likely to be much higher. Nationally population is forecast to treble by 2050 which begs the questions: how will all those people survive, where will they live, will they have access to medicine, will they have enough food?