Local authorities including members of parliament in Dowa, intend to engage government on their proposal for Dzaleka Refugees camp to be moved from the district.

This follows land grab concerns as locals accuse companies drilling boreholes and constructing houses around the camp of illegaly taking up their land.

On the sidelines of an interface meeting Senior Chief Msakambewa said most companies are erecting structures without proper acquisition of land.

Msakambewa also said that officials at Dzaleka stopped consulting them on every new developments as it were in the past.

The chiefs are now demanding for a relocation of the camp.

“We are fearing for the future because our people will not have land to cultivate on in years to come,” said Msakambewa.

On his part, Sam Kawale, Member of Parliament for Dowa North East Constituency says lawmakers have received concerns from members of community.

According to Kawale, they have now agreed to engage the district council on the proposal.

Meanwhile, Willy Kambandira Executive Director of Centre for Social Accountability Transparency, who facilitated the interface has asked the concerned traditional leaders and their subjects to desist from violence during this process.

According to the UNHCR, Dzaleka has reached its absorption capacity with the camp hosting over 41,000 refugees and asylum seekers, representing a 300% 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 related risks.

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