Chief Mumena of the Kaonde speaking people in Kalumbila district has called for formulation of a deliberate strategic development plan that looks into the welfare of refugees.
Chief Mumena explains that the approach to Meheba needs a human face hence the need to look at a specific approach on the United Nations Development Programme.
As refugees are now part of the community in the area , they should be made to feel at home if they are to positively contribute to this nation’s development agenda, he reasoned.
Chief Mumena added that the local authorities should also be planning for the refugee resettlement areas as much as they plan for the local communities.
He said this when Permanent Secretary resettlement in the office of the Vice President, Mavis Nkomesha paid a courtesy call on him on Monday.
“If we have a strategic development plan for Meheba we won’t be shooting in the air, when resources come we know our priority areas are these.
“We know if the former refugees are given the basics we don’t see them running away to Manyama or Solwezi to look for better livelihood”, Chief Mumena said.
Meanwhile, Ms Nkomesha appealed to the chief to help them bring the host community and former refugees together.
She said bringing the host community into the resettlement will enable them not only to integrate but benefit from the resettlement schemes.
“Refugees are no longer refugees, they are part of us now, they have been integrated in the host communities”, Ms Nkomesha said.
The Permanent Secretary is in the province to assess the sustainable resettlement programme that they have been undertaking with UNDP since 2017 to see if there would be need for continuity.