Traditional leaders in Malawi’s northern boarder district of Karonga have been asked to find a land that can be used to re-allocate the refugee transit shelter which is within the town of Karonga.
The development follows a petition to the government to close or re-allocate the refugee transit shelter which is within the town as a preventive measure of Ebola outbreak in the district saying the shelter is at the wrong place as the refugees move freely.
Principal Secretary for Home Affairs Bestone Chisamila said government has heard the outcry of people in Karonga and the need to re-allocating the shelter to a far distance so that the fear which is among people in the district ends.
“We heard from news papers and also from the District Commissioner that people here are demanding the closure of the refugee transit shelter or to re allocate it to a far distance as a controlling measure for the people of Karonga to a deadly disease of Ebola following the incident in which two suspected Ebola refugees escaped”, he said.
He has asked the chiefs find the place to allocate the refugee saying “the way we have seen the shelter, it is indeed not at a good place.”
United Nation High Commission for Refugee Representative George Kuchio said they will adhere to the choice of chief on where the refugees will be re allocated.
“We thank Malawian government that it allow to keep vulnerable and desperate people in its country and we are very grateful for that, the issue of Ebola it is also our very much concern and we take the issue seriously that is why we are willing to have the facility where it is safe, a place which will not bring threat to people in the district,” said Kuchio.
During the visit district health official Edward Gondwe revealed that testing of Ebola is not done at Songwe boarder as people were thinking and that there is no room used to isolate suspected patients.
“As the district we don’t have the capacity to scan Ebola disease and we don’t have any room for isolation, if we have a suspect we refer the person to Mzuzu where scanning can be done because scanning of Ebola need a laboratory where the testing can be done which we don’t have here,” said Gondwe.
The District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo announced that the district has been given a new police car as a way of mitigating the influx of illegal immigrates in the district.
“I also want to tell you that the government has given us a new car that our police should use in making the patrols to combat influx of illegal immigrants in the district as they also bring threat to the people and I hope now the police will not complain of resource again to deal with the problem,” said Moyo.
The District Police Officer-in-Charge Foster Mangani pleaded with government to consider review the law that deals with illegal immigrants.
“We are very grateful that our cry has been answered this will make our job easy but the problem is still there because the law is fair to these people as they can easily pay the fine imposed on them and worst still is that the high court is also not helping us because when we arrest people who help the immigrants and are charged here they appeal and given the bail,” worried Mangani.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :