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Tongogara refugee camp registers 153 new arrivals between January and March

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge registered more than 150 new arrivals between January and March this year, translating to about 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

This comes as the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo government where the militant M23 rebel group has displaced over 800 000 people, mainly in the country’s border city of Goma, has resulted in the majority now seeking safety across the African continent.

Zimbabwe, being an accommodative country has recorded an influx of refugees, with 153 new arrivals in the last three months.

Tongogara Refugee Camp Administrator, Mr Johanne Mhlanga said the camp is now home to over 15 000 refugees and asylum seekers.

“We have in excess of 15 400 refugees and asylum seekers. Of late, we realised we are receiving quite a high number of new arrivals. We have received close to 153 individuals between January and March this year and of course, we are also registering many new births. We have so far 90 new births in the camp,” Mr Mhlanga said.

In view of the increasing population in the camp, the government has responded through the construction of a classroom block to decongest Tongogara Primary School which currently has an average enrolment of over two thousand pupils.

He added, “We are grateful to the government of Zimbabwe with a view towards decongesting Tongogara Refugee Camp as we highlighted last year the school has quite a huge enrollment, so Chipinge RDC came on board to fund the construction of a 1×3 classroom using devolution funds. We are walking the talk on leaving no one behind.”

The Second Republic has seen Zimbabwe adopting a ‘friend to all and enemy to none’ foreign policy as the country accelerates its engagement and re-engagement drive.

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