THE number of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who have entered Zambia has hit 7,700 and is expected to reach the 10,000 mark in a fortnight.
Speaking in an Interview yesterday United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Mr Kelvin Shimo said the number could be more as other asylum seekers are entering the country through Kasumbalesa and Mokambo on the Copperbelt.
Mr Shimo said other Congolese are using Kipushi border in North-Western Province and Kaputa in Northern Province are yet to be captured.
“If you factor in all these asylum-seekers coming through various borders, it is clear that we have gone beyond the 10,000 mark, that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders,” he said.
He said only those asylum-seekers coming through Chiengi districts are staying at Kenani camp in Nchelenge district in Luapula Province.
Mr Shimo However, said government has allocated a new site at Mansapala in Nchenlenge district for settlement of refugees.
He said once developed, the site will cater for a larger number of asylum seekers.
Furthermore, Mr Shimo said the new site will have all the facilities because it will be developed to international required standards.
He said the UNHCR in Partnership with other organisaations such as Afrikan Aktion help, Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid and the government under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu remains committed to improving water and sanitation in the refugees camps.