By: Vincent Gunde
Police in Dowa have expressed a concern over the high population rate which has resulted into food rationing by half in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The food rationing situation has brought in more miseries in the number of people per family which on the negative effects, has contributed to high criminal rate in the camp, surrounding villages and Dowa boma itself.
Speaking during a Station Executive Committee ( SEC) meeting held at the boma on Wednesday, the new Dowa police station Officer- In- Charge ( O/C), Charles Frazer Msitu, lamented that Dzaleka camp has seen growing cases of theft and sexual assorts, a development which is worrisome within the Dzaleka camp community.
Msitu who is Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police( SACP), said refugees broke into other people’s houses in the camp and surrounding villages including Dowa boma to steal various goods inorder to survive in their everyday life because the food rationing per months is insufficient.
The O/C said due to failure to meet their everyday needs, Dowa police has registered an increase in crime rate from January to June, this year as compared to last year, 2018 during the same period citing 167 criminal cases representing an increase of 48.9%.
He said for Dzaleka camp alone, 23 criminal cases were registered of which 8 were for breaking into houses and 6 were reported for sexual assorts.
Msitu said the police is working hand in hand with the community in the camp and surrounding villages to ensure that security is at its best in the district.
He said Dowa police through its community policing department, formed a group called “ASUNGUSUNGU ” where they work together in providing security in the camp.
The O/C said the police is providing crime prevention sensitization meetings both in the camp and surrounding villages and conducting patrols during market days to ensuring that all areas are covered with security messages to make Dowa, a crime- free district.
According to National Statistical Office ( NSO), 2018 Population and Housing Census report, Dzaleka Refugee Camp has over 40,000 refugees and asylum seekers.