Over the weekend, a boat that was traveling from North Africa to Italy and that was carrying between 300 and 400 people experienced great tragedy. Found south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, it has been reported that approximately, 19 people died on the boat.
Several newspapers have stated that these people inhaled poisonous fumes from the boats engine. This is not unusual, 130 people lost their lives last October when a boat sank off Lampedusa and in the last month at least 50 immigrants have died on the same passage. Prior to that, more than 200 mainly sub-Saharan migrants died after their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. The boat was headed to Lampedusa. There have been so many loss of lives that the list is endless. The truth is, it is feared that the real figure is higher.
These people were not just your average passengers going on a carefree holiday. They were desperate immigrants in search of a new life and a new start.
Some of these immigrants have risked everything and more in search of a new life abroad. In fact many of these immigrants know what is ahead following the numerous fatalities over the past few years. Still they are willing to risk their lives. So as the world goes on, many people are losing their lives, crossing dangerous seas, in search of peace, hope and prosperity.
It may be difficult for some people to understand why people would risk their lives time and time again knowing how torrential and hazardous the journey is. The simple answer is that, extreme poverty and war are often the incentive that drives these desperate travellers to seek a new life in Italy. There is no easy solution. Only creating a haven of peace so communities can live together without fear of wars.
Furthermore, the fight goes on for many Africans who are searching for a better life. However, there is a silver lining ahead for African Italians who have settled in Italy. The Italian government is considering loosening its citizenship laws to enable around a million immigrants of African origin to settle in Italy.