Sixth relocation operation of DRC refugees to new settlement completed

Government in conjunction with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and other UN agencies have completed a sixth relocation operation to transfer up to over 15,000 DRC refugees currently living at Kenani transit centre to Mantapala refugee settlement.

The recent relocation movement took place on Friday. 

Many refugees expressed willingness to leave Kenani because the transit centre has become overwhelmingly crowded. 

“I would like to go to Mantapala because we are overcrowded here at Kenani. There is no space for me to carry out an activity of my choice to support my family. Children have no space to play around. The road is close by and we live very near to the lake”, says Mamauno Lukoko, a Congolese refugee at Kenani.

UNHCR has demarcated over five hundred plots and over 250 households have constructed their houses in the settlement. Over five boreholes have also been sunk to provide clean and safe water for drinking.

Mantapala has been designated a permanent settlement for refugees during their stay in Zambia. T

More relocation movements have been planned in the coming weeks. 

Government has since brought together its departments, local and international NGOs and UN agencies in a partnership to support refugees, and make Mantapala a sustainable settlement.

Mantapala has over 6,000 hactares of land and is estimated to host over 20,000 refugees. Currently, over 15,000 refugees have fled into Zambia from DRC since last August. 

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