Government has reached a consensus with chiefs in Karonga to relocate a refugee camp from Dzaleka in Dowa to Katili in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kyungu in Karonga.
Speaking during the tour of Katili on Friday, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia said the decision to relocate the refugee camp follows a concern by government that the camp at Dzaleka was near Lilongwe, the capital city, a development that compromises the country’s security.
“Malawi is one of a few countries in Africa that has a refugee camp close to the capital city, a development that raised fear on the security of the nation. Government decided to relocate the camp to a border district where most of the refugees pass through,” she said.
Chiumia assured the people of Karonga that the process is beneficial because water points and school blocks will be constructed and Katili Health Centre rehabilitated.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Monique Ekoko said 27 000 refugees will be transferred from Dzaleka to Katili.
Paramount Chief Kyungu asked UNHCR to ensure that communities in Karonga are given job opportunities during the construction of the refugee camp.
Katili lies north west of Karonga, about 15 kilometres away from the boma. n