Disaster Management authorities are admitting that the encroachment of Mozambican asylum seekers in Malawian flood camps is exerting pressure on their response work.
Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been greatly hit by Cyclone IDAI which has claimed over 700 lives and almost wiped out an entire port city of Beira.
Thousands of people are homeless and in need of food and shelter.
The BBC has reported that some of these people are trekking to border districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in Malawi, which have equally been devastated by floods.
Reports reaching Capital FM indicate that most of these foreign nationals have settled in camps set by local disaster management authorities to receive assistance.
“DODMA is aware that there are Mozambicans in camps in Nsanje, and to us we have no choice but to assist them just as we are doing with Malawi’s,” confirms Harris Kachali ,DODMA’s Director of Disaster Response and Recovery.
Coupled with the coming in of the Mozambicans in the camps, there is now need for more supplies in terms of relief.
Although various organisations and companies are making donations both monetary and relief items, DODMA is still challenged in reaching out to all the affected families with aid.
According to a joint report from DODMA and the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator in Malawi, a total of 868,895 have been affected with 731,879 in need of support and 86,976 living in camps.
Currently, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs-DODMA is facing a deficit of over 20 Billion Kwacha in relief aid.
“We are constrained, we are constrained, and that’s why we are appealing for more support, so We will take care of the Mozambicans, as you know Malawi and Mozambique are neighbors , we have no choice but actually to accommodate them,” Kachali said.
In such cases the Malawi government is supposed to work with the UNHCR in order to ensure that such asylum seekers are well accounted for and are not a burden to a host nation.
“UNHCR we are working together and most of the plans that we have we share with them and we are always moving together,” the DODMA Directors adds.
Meanwhile the DODMA is taking stock of all the assistance that it has received through various donations from different organization.
However Kachali could not specify the exact timeframe in which the department would publish the complete breakdown of the floods assistance.