Refugees camp in North of France Feb / Mar 2016 - Grande-Synthe, France
At the beginning of 2016, the presence of thousands of migrants, immigrants, smugglers or refugees in the North of France, who "try" England, does not go unnoticed. The European "Eldorado" turns out to be less bright than they expected, the British island is a terminus, except that many are blocked at the previous stop, Calais.
At that time, they were distributed mainly in two camps, the famous one being "The Jungle" of Calais bringing together up to ten thousand people from the Near/Middle/Far East, the Maghreb and Black Africa, this camp has been gradually built up since 2002.
The other, ubject of this report, is located in the district of Basroch in Grande-Synthe and is much more anarchic and much more young, it grew from 80 refugees in the spring of 2015 to nearly 3000 in the winter of 2015.
This explosion of mainly Kurdish refugees has not been effectively managed and forced thousands of people to camp in tents in the mud, modestly developing pallet paths in the mud.
The town placed some health support, opens a few points of water and electricity. But the rain and the elements make them pass a harsh winter.
At the beginning of March 2016, because or thanks to an eco-district project at the site of the camp, the commune of Grande-Synthe, animated by its mayor Damien Carême, initiates the construction of a humanitarian camp on a municipal land known as "La Linière" under the supervision and the funds of the NGO Doctors Without Borders, without the approval of the French State.
Present in Grande-Synthe
twice to testify of the situation :
The first time in early February in Basroch accompanied by a comedian
and a sketcher, upstream of a
convoy of clothing donations of
the country of Brest for these refugees.
The second time in early March as a volunteer in the new camp "La Linière".
Both camps of Calais and Grande-Synthe will end dismantled the year 2016 with refugee distributions throughout
France in reception centers.
But arrivals continue and their willingness to cross the Channel remains very strong, these dismantling especially made the migrants more precarious in their last part of the journey.