Over 1,000 Africans died of drowning,  dehydration during migration – IOM Report

Over 1,000 Africans died of drowning, dehydration during migration – IOM Report

During migration in 2021, drowning accounted for 64 per cent  of deaths while harsh environmental conditions accounted for 5 per cent – particularly the high temperatures that all too frequently result in exhaustion and dehydration.

Most deaths and disappearances by migrants were prominently recorded by IOM from those travelling along the Eastern Corridor, which is regarded as one of the busiest migration routes in the world.

“It is used by migrants from the Horn of Africa to reach the Arabian peninsula,” the IOM said in the report.

The report said travellers on this corridor face dangers such as risky transport and asphyxiation, violence and abandonment by smugglers, limited access to medical care and detention.

In 2021, the data highlighted that most deaths took place in Djibouti (101) – between the coast and Obock or while crossing the Red Sea to Yemen -, followed by incidents that occurred in Somalia during transit to Bossaso (8).

“A key area where many migrants lose their lives on the Eastern Corridor is the particularly rough terrain leading to Obock, dubbed the ‘devil’s bathroom’ for the extreme heat, dehydration, and arduous experience commonly suffered by those who traverse it,” the report said.

“The stretch of desert from Moulehoule to Obock reaches temperatures up to 50 degrees celsius in the summer and migrants walk long distances on foot often carrying little to no drinking water.”

The IOM observed that most migrants’ intended destinations are the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where young migrants are motivated by the desire for work, including house keepers and labourers.

In Nigeria, migration is mostly driven by economic desperation and in search of better opportunities abroad, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the International Organisation Migration (IOM) said.

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