Premises for migrants inaugurated in Tanzania

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© Zahra Moloo/IRIN

A somali refugee inside her tent

New immigration and police premises have been inaugurated in two regions of Tanzania to help thousands of irregular migrants who go to South Africa in search of work.

The premises in Kilwa Masoko in Lindi region and Kilambo in Mtwara region have been built by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with $2.4 million provided by the government of Japan.

The agency says that every year 17 to 20,000 Ethiopians and Somalis are smuggled through Tanzania en route to South Africa.

IOM spokesman Jumbe Omari Jumbe says often the migrants are seized by the Tanzanian Police and locked up in gaols where women and children share the same cells.

"That, combined with poor hygiene and nutrition, has led to cases of death actually. Last year alone, the International Organization for Migration assisted 1,700 of these people to return to their countries. So, by building these premises, the migrants will be properly housed and screened and maybe will be persuaded to forswear forever the attempt to migrate in irregular way."

Duration: 26"

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