In an interview with Nsanje Victim Support Unit Coordinator, Constable Justin Kadwala, explained that although there is no any Gender Based Violence case from the camps reported so far, chances are high of such occurrences because of conditions in the camps. He said most of the camps are over populated and males together with females are sleeping in the same rooms. This is risky especially to women and girls.
Kadwala further said as Department of Police Victim Support Unit they are ready to provide enough protection through awareness campaigns and strengthening of community policing. He however explained that they do not have enough resources to cover all camps in the district.
“Protection of people that are in camps is at our heart. We have already started reaching some camps with awareness campaigns on the disadvantages of gender based violence. We have also instituted and set community forum structures that are providing security in the camps and set to receive complaints,” said Kadwala.
Commenting on the matter, Secretary of Civil Society Organizations in the district Mweta Katemba agreed that flood victims in camps are at risk of several forms of violence including those based on gender and he assured the Department of Police Victim Support Unit that funds can be available for the initiative.
“As Civil Society Organizations, we are here in Nsanje to complement government’s efforts of assisting people affected by floods. We are asking them just to come up with a budget and circulate it to our NGOs based here so that they can plan relief assistance,” explained Katemba.
Over 18, 000 households were affected by the floods and stormy rains in Nsanje district and among them over 3,000 households are living in camps.