The ship “Sea Eye 4” landed yesterday with 476 people at the Nuremberg pier. Among them about eighty minors
MESSINA – A landing of migrants at the Nuremberg pier. Sheltered from the rest of the city, the ship “Sea Eye 4” landed yesterday in Messina. 476 people on board. A pregnant woman and about eighty minors. The 65 unaccompanied minors will be welcomed in the extraordinary reception centers in the province of Messina. After many hours of arrival, which took place around 13.30, in the evening the ship was still full of migrants while the prefecture, police, municipality, cultural mediators, interpreters and volunteers carried out the usual and different tasks. From assistance and rescue to identification and sorting. Not surprisingly, given the large number, the operations are also proceeding today.
He is a volunteer who prefers to remain anonymous to summarize the situation: “They are people who are fleeing from dramatic conditions. Many are fleeing wars and enormous economic difficulties. Women victims of violence, families and traumatized individuals, often tortured in gruesome structures, after ten days at sea arrive here in the hope of a better future. Let’s not forget it. Unfortunately, many deny the evidence and attack them without wanting to know reality “.
Mostly the migrants come from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt
But where do the migrants from the “Sea Eye 4” ship come from? There are many who come from Nigeria, an African country overlooking the Gulf of Guinea; from Bangladesh, which lies east of India on the Bay of Bengal; and from Egypt, which connects North Africa with the Middle East. They spent more than a week at sea until they waited for a port to welcome them. Only unaccompanied minors and families should remain in the province of Messina.
Men (some with bare feet) lined up, or seated, waiting to be identified, when women, children and people in difficulty had already been assisted. This is the scene that occurred yesterday around 19, between tents, barriers, volunteers and a lot of police. Priority, in landings, is assigned to those who need treatment and to be hospitalized.
Still on the ship stood an immeasurable group of men, side by side in every corner, crammed up beyond belief. Together, almost motionless and waiting, like in a painting or a frame from a film, before having the green light to get off the German NGO boat.
“An ordeal at sea and the need for safe escape routes for refugees”
We read yesterday on the Facebook page of the “Sea Eye 4”: “After more than a week, we finally see the end of the ordeal at sea. So far, however, only a few people have managed to embark. In the 23 countries of origin of the refugees, in part, there are armed conflicts and long-standing wars. Nonetheless, at the moment, there are only safe escape routes for refugees from Ukraine. Now this should be a matter of course for everyone. We ask for safe escape routes for all people seeking protection, regardless of skin color or origin ”.
Institutions, police and social organizations together to guarantee the first reception
To manage the situation, between a phone call from the Ministry of the Interior and one from the prefect Cosima Di Stani, is the deputy head of cabinet of the prefecture Cosimo Gambadauro: “We were obviously aware of the arrival and we got ready, albeit in a short time. We have activated all organizations in a system that is running in. We had known the day before that the NGO needed a safe harbor and in the late evening we learned that it would be the port of Messina ”.
“Consequently – continues the prefecture’s deputy head of cabinet – we have activated the institutional and social actors and the police forces, that is the realities responsible for welcoming. All the aspects related to the logistics and refreshment of migrants have been prepared, who receive first health assistance when they disembark. Then we proceed to the interviews because some have the possibility to ask for asylum; others are the so-called economic migrants ”.
“Health checks and attention to abuses suffered”
“Subsequently – recalls Dr. Gambadauro – the migrants are sent to the hotspots and, in the case of minors, to the Cas (extraordinary reception centers, ed.) Reserved for them. The 65/70 unaccompanied minors will be welcomed in the province of Messina. The minors who arrived here with their family unit, on the other hand, will be transferred to ad hoc structures. Those under the age of 14 will be assigned to structures set up by the Municipalities, according to a reception and integration system. Above the threshold of 14 years, they can also be accepted in the centers identified by the prefecture, given that there are often no places available ”.
“For each of the 476 migrants – says the representative of the prefecture – it is necessary to start a health check, carry out an interview and check the physical and psychological conditions. On these psychological aspects the volunteers of Save the Children. There were health workers on board the NGO. But equipment from the Usmaf (Maritime Health Offices, area and border, ed.) Of Messina also boarded the ship to check the conditions of the people on board ”.
The official explains: “Subsequently the triage (system used to select the subjects with the most critical conditions, ed.) was carried out by the Asp. The Municipality of Messina and the volunteers were busy offering meals and water. We provided several shoes and sandals because so many migrants were barefoot. Police headquarters and police forces can also find out, through interviews, if there are subjects who have been abused during the crossing, for example. Or if they show other problems “.
Red Cross volunteers: “Helping those in need is our duty”
When we reached them, the Messina Red Cross operators were enjoying a moment’s break before resuming their activity. All aspects related to logistics, such as gazebos and refreshment points, have been prepared by them. “We are committed as volunteers – explains a member of the Red Cross, who prefers to carry out his solidarity action in the shadows – to give help to those in serious difficulty. In the past, in the period of the Covid emergency, we also took care of transport “.
“We cannot remain indifferent in the face of so much suffering”
The speaker carried out an intense activity for several months in Crotone, in a health surveillance center, where landings were daily. Once the swab was carried out, the migrants had to do the quarantine.
“We come across – the volunteer points out – in people tried by the journey, often victims of abuse, desperate and in need of every support. It would be important for everyone to understand this and look at the condition of the migrants arriving here with different eyes. We look them in the eye and we cannot remain indifferent ”.