Government says it is to conduct a thorough database audit for refugees at the overcrowded Dzaleka camp in Dowa to determine the exact number of refugees and asylum seekers living there.
This comes as the UN and other rights activists are blaming the government for relocating more refugees and asylum seekers to the already overcrowded camp.
Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma said the aim of the audit is to have proper records before more refugees and asylum seekers are forcibly relocated to the camp.
Ng’oma said this in Lilongwe during the meeting he had with officials from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“My Ministry is intending to conduct audit of the database for the refugees resident at Dzaleka.
“Together with UNHCR, we are also planning to review the Refugees Act of 1989 which is currently in use for its possible amendments.
“As Government, we have agreed with UNHCR to de-congest Dzaleka Refugee Camp, and as per our commitment, we have identified a land in Chitipa at Kayilizi, in the area of TA Mwenewenya where refugees will be relocated soon,” said Ng’oma.
On her pert, UNHCR regional deputy director, Angele Djohossou hailed Malawi Government for the commitment to improve the welfare of refugees staying in the country, adding that UNHCR is committed to provide total support toward the relocation exercise for the refugees.
Dzaleka is currently the only Refugee Camp in Malawi established in 1994 to accommodate 12,000 asylum seekers, but according to our sources currently the camp is accommodating over 84,000 refugees from different countries with an average of 300 new arrivals monthly.