Lesvos Dead from Cold

Guest blog from Pikpa Solidarity, Lesvos - from original on Facebook

On 21 November, a 24-year-old man from Cameroon arrived on Lesvos.

At around midnight 8 January, he died inside Moria camp, just 48 days after arriving in Europe.

Those who knew him claim that he died as a result of exposure to the cold weather. His friends have stated that he died in their container after leaving his tent because of the extreme cold.

According to the testimony of those who knew him, the man lived in a tent in the Olive Grove, an overspill area bordering Moria camp. He had friends who were sometimes able to host him in a container. For three weeks, the man had been complaining about the cold. Winter in Lesvos has been very bitter this year, with temperatures plummeting below zero at night.

There are reports that there have been power cuts in Moria and the Olive Grove since 27th December 2018, with the frequency of those cuts increasing and for longer periods. Those who live inside Moria camp have described conditions in which the electricity works only sporadically. Some report to have had no access to electricity for three days. The power network is rumoured to be overloaded leaving heating units useless.

From December 2016 to January 2017, five people died in Moria camp as a result of the extreme weather. There was no accountability for those deaths. Instead, the actors involved in refugee reception refused to accept responsibility and descended into a circle of blame. Campaigners in Lesvos have been calling for a response to this - of dignified conditions and protection for those living there - yet people are still sleeping in flimsy tents in the Olive Grove, lighting fires in order to survive.