Refugees at Luwani Camp in Neno have compensated 161 families with 50 kilogrammes of maize each for sacrificing their land for the migrants to construct shelters.
The camp currently accommodates over 1 500 Mozambican refugees who have fled their country because of growing skirmishes between government and opposition soldiers.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) senior emergency coordinator Fadela Novak-Irons said the maize was provided to the refugees by her office which committed to compensate the local community.
She said the compensation was part of this year’s commemoration of the World Refugee Day which took place at the camp recently.
“This was done after consultations with Neno District Agricultural Development Office [Dado] which advised us that the 50kg bag per family would be a generous compensation having accessed the gardens,” explained Novak-Irons.
A representative of the refugees, James Garnet, hailed the Luwani community and Malawians in general for their generosity and hospitality.
“This is a very symbolic and important gesture from us as refugees. It is a sign of our appreciation,” said Garnet.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Symon Likongwe, who received the compensation on behalf of his subjects, said he was willing to provide land to the troubled Mozambicans.
Previously, Luwani area had received Mozambicans refugees twice- in 1990s and then between August and November last year before the area was officially opened for them.
Besides the Mozambican refugees that are accommodated at Luwani, there are also about 7 000 others spread in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Mwanza.