Malawians living a miserable life in South Africa can now breathe a sigh of relief as Organization for Migration (IOM), a UN agency, has introduced a European Union funded project called Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community – Based Reintegration.
The project whose objective is to reduce migration along the Southern Africa routes as it will contribute to the development of sustainable voluntary return and community – based reintegration approaches, will help change people’s minds in travelling to South Africa for greener pastures.
Speaking in Balaka when he presented the project to the district executive committee (DEC) Shupikayi Nyirenda from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the project will be implemented in four districts in the country.
“The pilot action on voluntary return and sustainable community – based reintegration project will be piloted in four districts namely, Balaka, Mzimba, Machinga and Mangochi as these are the districts with the highest migration figures to South Africa,” she said.
“As a way of procedure for voluntary return and reintegration, IOM will ensure effective coordination of return and reintegration process with the national partners. Migrants in need of return assistance will be referred to IOM by government institutions, diaspora and migrant communities,” Nyirenda added.
Nyirenda said once the migrants have been handed over to IOM, they would conduct an assessment on their eligibility to benefit from the return assistance and subsequent repatriation to Malawi.
“Pre-departure assistance which includes counselling, assessment of migrant’s conditions and level of support required will be part of the activities. We will also conduct family tracing and discuss reintegration assistance available as well as travel preparations,” Nyirenda said.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting, Chairperson of the Technical Working Group Dr. Hudson Mankhwala said once the immigrants have reintegrated, there would be follow ups and assistance in form of money and materials.
“We are targeting 500 people but this is not the maximum as we may reach out to more, at least by February 2019. We will also target the families in Malawi to avoid more people going to South Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Balaka DEC has advised the project to take precautionary measures to ensure only the needy benefit from the project.
Apart from Malawi, the Project will also be implemented in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :