Wanica is a district located on the southwest border of Paramaribo. The district of Wanica was called 'District Suriname' until the reclassification of districts in 1983. The area of the district is 442 km2. The capital of Wanica is Lelydorp. According to the last census in 2017, Wanica district had a population of 118,222. Wanica is subdivided into 7 districts.
The name Wanica was suggested because of the following facts:
As a district of Saramacca and Commewijne, Wanica is considered to be one of the districts where small-scale agriculture developed further. For that reason, Hindus and Javanese were the largest group of inhabitants of this district. Over the past period, Wanica has been growing, because Wanica as an edge district is a unique place for people who want to live outside Paramaribo, but still want to be close to Paramaribo to go to work. This growth means that the composition of the district is changing. As in Paramaribo, all population groups are now well represented in the Wanica district.
Wanica has several unique residential areas, such as Dessa, which means "Villages" in Javanese. There are also residential areas, where predominantly Hindustani people live. This division was created by a conscious form of divide and rule by Governor Kielstra. This division has had the advantage that culture in Suriname has been spared.
Not only the composition of population groups has changed in this district. In the Wanica District there is a well-known Sunday market, there are several banks, insurance companies, and various eateries and since 2020 also the Wanica hospital.
The capital of the Wanica district is Lelydorp, named after governor engineer Lely, who was brought to Suriname in 1902 to build the railway. Lelydorp is also the center of the Wanica district. The first name of this capital was 'Kofidjompo'. The literal translation of the name is “Kofi who jumped”. Kofi means "Born on Friday" and is the name given to male slaves born on a Friday. Kofi was a slave who fled from his master. He jumped over a very large swamp, fleeing from the soldiers who wanted to arrest him. Because the swamp was very wide and Koffie's jump was very miraculous, the place was henceforth referred to as Kofidjompo.