Inua Advocacy film voices refugee concerns
Refugees and Malawians Express Frustration Over Relocation to Dzaleka Camp
LILONGWE, Malawi - Inua Advocacy, an organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of refugees in Malawi, has unveiled a documentary shedding light on the concerns of refugees, asylum seekers, and local community members affected by the relocation of refugees, writes Vincent Gunde.
The documentary focuses on the experiences of individuals residing in Mgona township in Lilongwe.
Refugees and asylum seekers who were relocated to Dzaleka Camp in Dowa are appealing to the government for assistance, claiming that they have lost their businesses due to the relocation and are now in a state of helplessness.
They express frustration at the lack of government support and the impact it has had on their lives.
One woman featured in the documentary tearfully pleads with the government, expressing her disbelief that the businesses they had built were forfeited upon their relocation to Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
She shares her struggles in providing for her children and reveals that she has now become reliant on the generosity of well-wishers for basic necessities.
"We were not informed by the government that the businesses we were running did not belong to us but to them," the woman laments.
Meanwhile, in Lilongwe's Mgona township and surrounding areas, residents are left speechless as their sources of livelihood have been relocated to Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.
Women can be seen carrying winnowers in their hands, desperately searching for employment opportunities, only to find none.
Esnath Kaliza, who used to earn a living by winnowing agricultural produce for container owners, shares her distressing story.
With the income she earned, she was able to provide for her seven children and pay the Development Fund at Chipala LEA School, where they are enrolled.
However, she now finds it impossible to pay the K7000 fee per child, let alone afford a 5L pail of maize priced at K4000.
James Mpotazingwe, a former bag loader at Mgona, reveals that cases of theft and burglary have surged in the area since the relocation, attributing it to the loss of economic opportunities.
He explains that unemployed youth have turned to excessive alcohol consumption and criminal activities, which were previously absent when their employers were still present.
"We are now four of us in Maula Prison, arrested for various crimes including theft, burglary, and malicious damages," Mpotazingwe discloses.
The release of this documentary by Inua Advocacy serves as a platform for refugees, asylum seekers, and local community members to voice their concerns and shed light on the hardships they face as a result of the relocation.
It emphasizes the need for government intervention and support to address the challenges faced by these individuals and communities.