Police in Dowa have expressed concern over food rationing at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, saying it is leading to increased cases of crime in and outside the camp.
Speaking during a station executive committee (SEC) meeting at the boma, Dowa Police Station officer-in-charge Charles Frazer Msitu observed that the camp has seen growing cases of theft and sexual assault.
He said Dowa police has registered an increase in crime from 156 cases between January to June last year to 167 during the corresponding period this year.
“Dzaleka Refugee Camp alone, between January and June this year, 23 criminal cases were registered of which eight were breaking-in cases while six related to sexual assault,” Msitu said.
A statement by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Monique Ekoko last month said funding shortfalls have forced the agency to reduce supplies and even suspend the provision of some food stuffs.
“Refugees are receiving 40 percent of the required share which is 6.7 kilogrammes [kg] of maize grain, 0.75 kg of pulses and two kg of fortified corn flour per person per month,” she said.
The camp’s manager, Patricia Sinoya, asked Ministry of Homeland Security to address the situation.
Last year, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi promised to look into the situation.
Efforts to speak to Dausi for a fresh comment on the situation proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
According to National Statistical Office (NSO), 2018 population and Housing Census report Dzaleka Refugees camp has over 40 000 refugees and Asylum seekers.