The number of asylum seekers entering Zambia have continued to increasing forcing the country to urgently to start looking for a permanent resettlement camp in Nchelenge District in Luapula province to move refugees from the transit centre.
From August to this month of October, over 100 Congolese people on average have been entering Zambia through Chienji border mainly from the northern part of Katanga area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ministry of Home Affairs Commissioner for Refugees Abdon Mawere disclosed that about 5, 890 Congolese are being kept at Kenani Transit Camp in Nchelenge.
Mr. Mawere said the Zambian government with the help from its partners and stakeholders are providing refugees with basic needs as they plan to relocate them to a permanent camp.
He disclosed that land has been given by chief Chinyembo which will be assessed before constructing camping facilities there.
He said there is an urgent need to move the refugees to a permanent camp because the number has continued to grow on a daily basis stating that the transit centre may not be able to accommodate the huge number.
He also disclosed that moving refugees to a permanent area will help as they need to start a livelihood.
And Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Buleti Nsemukila said government is doing everything possible to host refugees and settle them in camps.
Dr. Nsemukila said the ministry of health has so far deployed mobile hospitals to the transit centre to provide health care services to the refugee.
He said the refugees are screened at the border in Chienji before being transported to Nchelenge noting that the whole process of hosting and providing for refugees require the help of donor as it is an international crisis the country is dealing with.
The PS however reminded Zambians to learn about the importance of peace from what is happening from other country where their citizens are now refugees.
And UNHCR Country Representative Pierrine Aylara has praised Zambia for hosting refugees running away from the neighboring countries.
Ms. Aylara noted that it was not easy to host a huge number of people considering the logistical challenges.
She said international donors should consider increasing Zambia’s humanitarian aid for the country to host the refugees.
She noted that Zambia has in the past been hosting refugees from various country hence the need to support the country.
President Edgar Lungu is today expected to visit refugees at Kenani transit centre in Nchelenge District in Luapula Province.