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Migrants reaching Dover spend first night in unsafe conditions


Migrants reaching Dover spend first night in unsafe conditions

Migrants crossing the Channel in small boats are spending their first night on UK soil in crowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, a damning independent report has concluded.

Exhausted people have been forced to sleep on tent floors without sleeping mats, on wooden benches and on bus seats with inadequate arrangements for food or washing, a report by the Dover Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said.

The report, which examined the treatment of migrants at Tug Haven, the short-term reception centre at Dover Western Docks, found it is increasingly being used to hold people overnight.

Describing the facilities as an unsuitable environment for children and elderly and vulnerable people, the report also discloses that an inquiry has been launched into how chemical burns on one migrant were not detected by staff.

The board also warns that child welfare has also been put at risk at other detention facilities in Dover and Folkestone to which migrants were eventually transferred.

William Baker, the chair of the board, said he was surprised the Home Office had failed to improve inadequate facilities given the growing numbers of migrants arriving over the last two years.

“Migrants are initially held in an overstretched facility at the docks, with unsatisfactory arrangements for food, sleeping or washing. They are then transferred to other locations, which can include holding rooms in Dover and Folkestone which are also not designed to cope with these numbers.

“It is surprising that the Home Office still has such inadequate facilities for properly managing the care of children, that elderly and vulnerable people have been sleeping on mats on the floor, that medical support has not been expanded and that there are still no proper washing facilities at the overflow room in Folkestone,” he said.

The board – a statutory body that works with the Ministry of Justice and is made up of unpaid members of the public – had been given access to Tug Haven since June and was concerned to see that many detainees slept at the facility overnight.

“Many detainees have been observed by the Board to be exhausted and sleeping where they could – on the floor of the tent, on their backs on the wooden benches or in the coach or bus seats,” the report disclosed.

Food was insufficient and there was no running water and no provision for washing, the report said. Staff have been forced to order in pizzas at short notice to feed recent arrivals. “The Board has been informed that staff now make ad hoc arrangements to provide more substantial food to those staying overnight,” the report said.

Independent monitors said they have been surprised to find that serious health concerns have not been identified by Tug Haven staff before arrivals were moved on to other detention facilities.

“Concerns included detainees arriving from the Tug Haven with chemical burns,” the report said.

The board raised particular concerns about the safeguarding of children in Tug Haven and at other facilities in Dover and Folkestone. They found there are instances where unaccompanied children are being held in small spaces with adults they do not know; failures in age assessment have meant that under-18s have been mistakenly transported to immigration removal centres (IRCs); and mounting pressure on staff increases the likelihood of issues of vulnerability being missed, or not considered in enough depth.

Reacting to the report, Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “The men, women and children arriving in Dover are often exhausted, traumatised and can also have terrible physical injuries. They have fled war and oppression in search of safety and must be given the care, help and humane response they need and deserve.

“It’s alarming that the IMB has found burns not being treated and people not given the immediate care and attention they require.”

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NiMet predicts thunderstorm, rain from Friday to Sunday

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and rains from Friday to Sunday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged morning thunderstorms on Friday  over parts of Kano State and Kaduna State.

It anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Bauchi State, Gombe State, Zamfara, Sokoto State, Kaduna State, Adamawa and Taraba later in the day.

“In the North Central region, morning thunderstorms and rains are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi, Benue, Niger and Nasarawa State.

”While later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi and Kwara.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Oyo State, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Ondo State, Lagos State, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta, while intermittent rains are anticipated over the entire Southern region later in the day,” it said.

According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Kebbi, Kaduna State and Zamfara on Sunday while afternoon and evening thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Gombe State, Kaduna State and Bauchi State.

The agency forecast thunderstorm and rains over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa State and Niger during the morning hours.

NiMet predicted thunderstorms and rains over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa State and Benue later in the day.

The agency envisaged morning rains over parts of Ondo State, Ogun, Edo and Lagos State.

It predicted intermittent rains over parts of Osun, Oyo State, Ogun, Ondo State, Lagos State, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River later in the day.

According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe State and Bauchi State later in the day on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms  over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

“In the North Central region, rains are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State, Plateau and Niger during the morning hours.

“Partly cloudy conditions are also expected over the region during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Edo and Lagos State, while in the afternoon/evening hours, intermittent rains are anticipated over parts of Ondo State, Ekiti and Osun” it said.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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Lagos to reintroduce monthly environmental sanitation

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the reintroduction of monthly environmental sanitation in the state.

The state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, who disclosed this to newsmen said the State Executive Council granted the approval. He said the sanitation which would commence in July, would be officially announced by the governor soon.

“Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the state executive council have approved the re-introduction of the monthly sanitation. The governor will announce it officially for the exercise to commence this month,” Wahab, who spoke in Yoruba language, said in a 21-second clip shared on the Lagos State Environmental Update page on X.

The state government stopped the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state in 2016.

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NEMA activates states’ emergency centres on flood assessment

The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zubaida Umar has activated all Zonal, Territorial and Operation offices of the agency nationwide, to work with the States’ Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) within their area of responsibilities, to carry out rescue operations and conduct assessment of the situation.

The move is in furtherance of its proactive flood risk management.

A statement from the agency on Sunday, said the NEMA Zonal, Territorial and Operation offices are located in Lagos, Ibadan, Ekiti, Abuja, Minna, Jos, Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Edo, Uyo, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Yola and Gombe.

At the headquarters, NEMA said it also operates a toll-free emergency contact line: 0800CALLNEMA (080022556362) in addition to all its social media platforms, through which feedback from members of the public can be received nationwide.

Consequently, NEMA said search and rescue officers have been deployed across the states, and have been providing the much-desired support in coordination of rescue operations with SEMAs and other stakeholders in recently flooded areas and communities.

The agency also said it is conducting a rapid assessment to determine any further assistance that may be required in the impacted communities.

It said, “The rescue efforts by NEMA are in addition to the ongoing sensitization and awareness activities being carried out to alert the public of the predicted flood for necessary actions to be taken to avert negative impacts.”

On Wednesday, 3rd July, Umar was in Anambra State on flood advocacy where she discussed with the Deputy Governor who represented the Governor, and religious and community leaders, on measures to avert and mitigate floods in the state which often record severe flooding annually. She has also previously visited several states and stakeholders across the country on the same mission with plans to continue with the advocacy.

It said, “As part of its pre-rainy season flood prevention advocacy, the Agency engaged the media in the placement of flood sensitisation jingles, and held an emergency coordination forum with critical stakeholders to prepare them for the predicted disaster.

The agency also said that soon after the flood prediction, written all state governments with the list of local governments that are at risk and outlined actions required to be taken to avert or mitigate the disaster.

It said, “A number of states that heeded the advisory from NEMA have acknowledged their early actions matched with the warnings and NEMA responses that have made lots of differences.

NEMA reemphasize the flood warning while calling on all stakeholders including the state and the local government, to be prepared for the intensifying of the rain season.

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