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Get migrants out of Europe and shelter them in Africa: winter looms

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th October 2015 06:22 PM

The exodus of migrants from Syria and other parts of the World to Europe continue to attract mixed reactions.

Get migrants out of Europe and shelter them in Africa: winter looms

Simon J. Mone is a civil engineer

The exodus of migrants from Syria and other parts of the World to Europe continue to attract mixed reactions.

By Simon J. Mone

The exodus of migrants from Syria and other parts of the World to Europe continue to attract mixed reactions.

It has caused varied differences in the European Union (EU) boardroom on how to implement the quota policy to settle them.

We hope discussions bring forth nice solutions. But until this matter is resolved, the problem lives. And this provides a long to-do list for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). CSOs and NGOs are being compelled to dive in with sacks of relief.

Working together with local authorities, they visit reception centres, do needs assessment, evaluate and coordinate provision of aid to migrants. And provide whatever else, to help ease the humanitarian emergency conditions. They have been digging deep and drawing out resources in order to make hundreds of refugees feel sheltered, protected, clothed and fed.

Legal services and psychosocial assistance are also being offered to mothers and children. As a result of this compassion together with governments, CSOs have been able to comb through reception and settlement centres to make all these happen. And displaced people are getting the much needed support. For now, there is modest comfort for many migrants.

Even volunteers have been very helpful. They joined in to assist with relief efforts, giving whatever they can. But as you know, voluntary work is not sustainable. It only offers so much and soon must end. Resources available will be limited and overwhelmed by the increasing refugee numbers that require support. Even with their continuous good work, CSOs hope for something more long term.

One way of obtaining this long term aim is by political leaders to continue discussing how best they can jump over the biggest humanitarian huddle since World War II.

With migrant numbers increasing daily, the much needed higher a level solution should come soon. And because the problem is increasing in magnitude, it is time to put all options to test, including mathematical solutions to provide optimum solutions to deal with migrant crisis. And with the winter fast approaching, what is going to happen to refugees who are currently staying in makeshift shelters?

It is very clear that current temporary settlements will not provide adequate protection to refugees. Talk about heating and the rest. It is about time for EU to consider this alternative. Start transferring some refugees to countries in Africa. Quite a few African countries are capable of providing reasonable comfort, much better than war situations that migrants dread at home.

Cold conditions in Africa will not be as severe as in Europe. And all stranded refugees will be comfortable. But in Europe, housing problem will conspire with very low temperatures to kill many. At the moment, a big responsibility has been placed on European governments to provide shelter for the 500,000 refugees. And these governments are clearly stuck with them.

A number of countries do not seem to be willing to open doors now. Probably, they will be happy if winter conditions prevent more influx of migrants. Statistics show that it will be difficult for European countries to take in the numbers, especially during winter when their very own die because of extremely cold conditions. Turkey would be the best destination to take refugees but they already host over 2 million.

It leaves Africa as the best destination for the stranded migrants. Mauritania which has a population density of 4 persons per square kilometre can host all 500,000 migrants. Provided the unbelievable amount of money being talked about is spent towards their care, there is no reason why Africa cannot play host to migrants.

The writer is a Civil Engineer, E-mail: smone@mail.com
 

Get migrants out of Europe and shelter them in Africa: winter looms

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