UN intervenes in relocation of Dxaleka refugee camp

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s Dzaleka Refugee camp administrator, Owen Nyasulu, has said his organization is planning to re-locate refugees and asylum seekers from Dzaleka refugee camp to Katiri in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga district.

Initially, Government thought of re-locating the refugee’s camp to Chitipa district, but the chiefs there rejected it and opted for a Community Technical College sighting insecurity reasons.

Speaking in an interview, Nyasulu said the re-location will reduce congestion at Dzaleka refugee camp because it was designed to accommodate 15,000 people but there are over 26,000 refugees.

Nyasulu dismissed claims that refugees are given huge sums of money by UNHCR to start businesses.

“UNHCR only gives the refugees basic needs but some use them to start businesses,” expressed Nyasulu.

UNHCR’s Senior Livelihood Strategic Advisor, Dr. Prosper Matondi, a Zimbabwean, expressed concern over the increase in the number of refugees at the camp as it has resulted into depletion of forests around it.

Dr. Matondi said is disappointed that Dzaleka refugee camp is the only camp in the world located closer to the capital city because in many countries they are established at the border.

“We are considering giving the refugees environmental friendly resources such as solar panels and Biogas for cooking as well as lighting in schools and homes,” Matondi explained.

Dzaleka refugee camp is currently hosting refugees and asylum seekers from Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Ethiopia.

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