Government has disclosed that it will not continue with its plan of relocating refugees from Dzaleka in Dowa to Katili in Karonga, Maravi Post has established.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Samuel Madula disclosed this when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in Lilongwe on Friday.
According to Madula, this is due to Government carrying out assessment of the suitability of the new location to accommodate refugees.
He further explained that Katili is not suitable for establishing the camp due to lack of water and farming land.
“We are not going to transfer the refugees to Katili in Karonga. We want to look for another area due to problems identified such as lack of water and land for farming,” said Madula.
In May, 2016, Government officially announced its plans to relocate Dzaleka Refugee Camp from Dowa to Karonga.
However, the decision received resistance from the residents, traditional leaders and politicians in Karonga district, citing security concerns to their lives and businesses. They argued that most of the people in the refugee camps are ex-soldiers, would be terrorists and dangerous criminals.
Government decided to transfer the camp from Dowa to Karonga due to security concerns especially because Dzaleka camp is closer to the Capital city.
Over 27 000 refugees were expected to be transferred from Dzaleka to Katili which lies North West of Karonga, about 15 kilometers away from the main town.