UNHCR to decongest Dzaleka Refugees Camp

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) in Malawi plans to relocate some refugees and asylum seekers from Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa as one of the precautionary measurers  against coronavirus (Covid-1) pandemic.

Dzaleka Refugee Camp

UNHCR and partners in conjunction with Ministry Homeland Security have identified a place close to the camp, where they expect to construct some shelters to relocate some of the refugees and asylum seekers.

In an interview with UNHCR Malawi’s Country Representative, Fatima Mohammed said Dzaleka has reached its absorption capacity and decongestion was the only solution in an effort to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Homeland Security as our main partner and we are trying to see how we can be able to decongest the camp. We hope that by June,2020, the first group of refugees will be relocated if there will not be any hitches to the construction work,” she said.

The Country representative said her office and partners working in the camp are prepared for a situation where the government implements the lockdown.

“We have planned to give food ration for two months in advance, so that people can have enough food and we have also empowered the health facility here in Dzaleka so that the health workers will continue to serve the host community as well as the refugees in case of a national lockdown,” Mohammed added.

Principal Secretary for Ministry of Homeland who is also Commissioner for Refugees, Harry Kanjewe had a tour of Dzaleka Refugee Camp to appreciate some of the Covid-19 preparedness measures undertaken so far.

He said they have already made an agreement with the hosting community surrounding the camp on the development.

“The agreement is for both parties looking at what the host community is going to provide to the refugees and what the development partners are going to offer the hosting community so that they both benefit from the project.

The community will benefit bridges, boreholes and irrigation schemes in return they will offer land for molding bricks and assist the development partners with manpower,”Kanjewe pointed out.

According to UNHCR, currently Dzaleka has reached its absorption capacity with the camp hosting over 49,000 refugees and asylum seekers, representing a 300 per cent increase from the original 10,000 people it was initially built for.

This has created a situation of congestion which requires the adoption and implementation of strategies and principles that will inherently minimize congestion rerated risks.

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2 years ago

The problem of our Country and or the Government is very difficult to understand them, these people should go back to their respective countries please! I mean what is wrong with Malawi Government? Only Dzaleka have 49,000 refugees and how about other Camps? Aaaaaa no! Take those where there is no fighting back to their brothers and sisters! Please please! Mufuna zoona ana athu adzakhale opanda malo magogonu mukafa? Koma Malawiso ndiye ayitu! Other Countries where the refugees are, do not give teeth to those whose Country is free, they send them back. I wish the coming Government should look… Read more »

2 years ago

Why not repatriate most of the refugees back to their countries? Most of these refugees kwawo pano kuli ntendele. Imagine some refugees at the camp come from Brazil. Ku Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Mozambique etc nkhondo inatha koma dzaleka is congested with citizens of those countries.

2 years ago
Reply to  Don

It looks you have no idea onw what goes in these situations. According to international humanitarian law (IHL), nobody can be oushed to go back to his or country of origin, it has to be voluntary return. You cant force a person with such a status, “refugee” to go back to the coubtry they came from. These people have different reasons of fleeing their country and their experiences are the same, so your suggestion here cannot be taken as a solution.

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