Officials of Know Your Neighbour Project (KYNP), which is being jointly implemented by Youth Health Network and Titha Organization of the People with Disabilities, have asked the Government of Malawi to remove all illegal immigrants from the country’s locations and move them to refugee camps, saying they can spread the deadly ebola virus among Malawians.
Malawi is grappling with an influx of illegal immigrants from ebola hotspot Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and other countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia.
However, the country has not yet registered any ebola case.
The illegal immigrants, running away from wars, civil unrest, hunger and famine in their countries, are settling in Malawi to the extent that they are even scrambling with Malawians over smaller businesses.
Recently, the Government of Malawi assured the nation that it has placed ebola screening machines in all the country’s entry points but KYNP feels Malawi remains at great risk of an ebola attack because these illegal immigrants are sneaking into the country using uncharted routes.
According to Country Coordinator for KYNP Apostle Helix Jaxon Chigonammalunji Undi, the project aims at protecting Malawians from these illegal immigrants and their accompanying ebola threat.
“Our interest is to work with the government to find means of ensuring that these illegal immigrants are removed from our locations and brought to Nzaleka refugee camp and other refugee camps.
“We also want to collaborate with the government and communities living along the borders in ensuring that uncharted routes these illegal immigrants use, are sealed.
“We must sensitise Malawians about ebola as well. It is sad that amid this influx of illegal immigrants, many of them do not know ebola and how deadly it is,” said Chigonammalunji Undi.
KYNP Operations Manager, Rex Whyghtone Daud, disclosed that they have already been to most border areas to sensitise people where they also met chiefs and set up committees to help coordinate the work of protecting Malawi against illegal immigrants and ebola.
“We do not hate our brothers and sisters from other African countries. All we are saying is they should follow procedures when entering our country because this will ensure that they are thoroughly screened for ebola in order to protect other people.
“If they are coming here as refugees, let them be at Nzaleka refugee camp and other refugee camps. If they are coming in as investors and have followed the procedures, we will always welcome them because they will end up creating jobs for our unemployed youths,”
And KYNP Publicity Secretary, Shushy James Zulu, concurred with his counterparts, adding that Malawians should desist from a behavior of selling their land to foreigners or keeping illegal immigrants in their locations.
According to Zulu, government has welcomed KYNP and is positive about protecting the nation against ebola through tackling the problem of influx of illegal immigrants.
“We have written the Office of the President and Cabinet and many other government ministries, departments and agencies including ministries of health and homeland security. All of them are aware about our project and willing to work with us.
“We have already met Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi and the Principal Secretary. Next week, we are having a meeting with the Inspector General of Police and Chief Immigration officer,” he said.
The KYNP officials, whose office is in Chinsapo in the Capital Lilongwe, appealed for financial support, saying they are currently implementing the project with resources contributed by members of the two organisations jointly running the project.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :