Briefing Note - Meheba Refugee Settlement, Kalumbila District, 05 October 2019
The Meheba Refugee Settlement was established in 1971 during the refugee influx from Angola and is located in Kalumbila District in North-Western Province. The settlement covers an area of 720 sq./km demarcated into eight blocks from A-H and further divided into land for the settlement of refugees and “former refugees”.
It is located 10 kms from the Kalumbila District Administration Centre, and 75 kms south-west of Solwezi, the provincial capital of the North-Western Province (NWP).
The settlement hosts a protracted Congolese (the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Somali population, new arrivals from Burundi and the DRC as well as “former” refugees from Angola and Rwanda.
The Government of Zambia (GRZ) is responsible for the protection of refugees and has adopted the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) approach, which has been extended to NW, with a priority focus on achievements in the education and livelihood sectors. The Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for the administration of the settlement in accordance with the Refugee Act of 2017 and collaborates closely with UNHCR, line ministries, partners and community structures within the context of a CRRF approach of refugee management.
While one-third of the settlement has been retained for the management of asylum seekers and refugees, two thirds have been designated for the settlement of former refugees from Angola and Rwanda, for whom the cessation clauses were invoked but who opted to remain in Zambia. They remain under the management of the Department of Resettlement (in the Office of Vice President). Health, education, protection, community and security services are provided by government staff who reside in the settlement. Livelihood services are provided by CARITAS Czech Republic, an implementing partner (IP), while warehousing and fuel management lies with Action Africa Help Zambia (AAHZ).
Humanitarian assistance by UNHCR is prioritized for new arrivals and persons with specific needs, including both the refugee and “former refugee” categories. Cash for food was introduced in 2016, which is under UNHCR direct implementation and transitioned to digital cash in 2018, as part of accountability measures to ensure direct and efficient transfer of funds.