UnBAREable life in the camps of Messina – Sicily

Update – 01 November

Sano31Oct

Dr. Giuliana Sano

Messina, a city of 250.000 inhabitants located in the northeastern littoral of Sicily, has become one of the most discussed cities by the national media in the last days. A huge landslip has destroyed the water pipeline which supplies the city while continuing rainfall floods the region. Inadequate emergency policies make local people suffer and exacerbate the living conditions of hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers that are forced to live in camps. Portrayed in this picture is the camp of Pala Nebiolo, one of the three camps put in place by the Ministry of Interior in Messina. A university baseball camp, was fasts transformed into ‘a reception centre’ for migrants when the first group of asylum seekers arrived in the October 2013. The Pala Nebiolo is supposed to be a temporary structure put in place to meet the demands of the “migrant emergency”. The camp hosts 30 tents that provide shelter to at least 250 persons. There are six bathrooms overall and a big refectory positioned among the tents. The space is at the mercy of weather conditions, both in the summer and in the winter time. The high temperatures of the summer make the tents suffocating, while in the winter the rain floods the tents making the cold unbearable. The health conditions produced by the exposure of asylum seekers to the elements of nature has become one of the most urgent issue raised by the migrants themselves, as well by the local associations and by activists who advocate the rights of migrants. Two long years have passed from when this camp came to exist, several protests and legal denounces have taken place, but the camp continues to be there, ready to ‘host’ more asylum seekers and migrants/refugees who arrive daily. .

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