By: Chikondi Magalasi
Lives of Mozambican nationals residing at Kapise camp in Mwanza are seriously in danger as they are prone to health problems due to overcrowding at the camp.
According to Medical Humanitarian Organization Medicines sans Frontiers (MSF), Kapise Camp is in bad condition and refugees are at serious health risk.
Speaking at the press briefing in Blantyre, MSF’s Head of Mission to Malawi, Amaury Gregoire, said poor sanitation at the camp is exposing many people to serious health risks.
Kapise Camp has over 6000 people struggling for a living. At least 160 of them are being treated everyday from various diseases with most of them diagnosed with malaria and respiratory infections.
“The overcrowding and lack of sanitation make it a serious risk. For example, where the respect minimum humanitarian conditions require at least 1 latrine for 20 people, or in worst case scenarios 1 latrine for 50 people, there are only 14 latrines working against over 5800 people,” said Gregoire.
The head of mission further said the camp has only two boreholes.
However, Gregoire asked Malawi government to relocate the camp to another place due to heavy rains that have damaged the roads making it hard to reach the area.
“We don’t see reasons for not moving the camp due to poor conditions of the road to Kapise. They have become impassable due to heavy rains,” he said.
He added that MSF has already established a clinic at the camp to assist refugees seeking medical assistance.
But Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Beston Chisamile, said Malawi government is discussing with their counterpart to come up with immediate solutions to eradicate the problems.