We all know that going to Europe is a good thing, because it is obvious that one could make it bigger and faster there than here in Africa, but the question remains; by which means do Africans travel to Europe mostly, and what are the challenges?
Of a long time history, Africa has always seemed to be so difficult for the poor masses to survive in it, despite the fact that it is highly recognised world widely for its mighty farming potential and other sources of wealth that occur naturally, such as; Minerals, Fossil, Fuels, Timber, etc. That is to say, with what Africa has, if there be good leaders, it could feed the world. But its selfish politicians only care about themselves, ignoring the tears of the poor citizens. But nevertheless..
(Life goes on)
As a young boy or a young girl growing up into a poor family, your parents may not be able to sponsor you throughout your study. Or if paraventure you have acquired a university certificate but could not find a job, at that point in life, you may begin to have negative thoughts, self condemnation, asking yourself some silly questions like; “why is my own case different?” “Will I ever make it in life?” Well, “you will make it” but it all depends on your spirit, because everyone is destined to be great in his or her own world, but fear, environment and lack of information hinder many from ruling their destinies, leaving them with no choice than to be just “dreamers”. But now I think its the right time you convert those your great ideas and plans into “action” in order to touch those hopeful dreams. All you need to do is to make some positive changes by going out to acquaint yourself with good people, those who you feel they know more than you do, because “If you are not informed, you will be deformed”. Along the line, you will hear different opinions, suggestions and advices on how to make it in life from different people. Don’t decide yet, meditate with your Bible/Koran, ask God in prayer to guide and lead you into making the right decision. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
(Good, that you have done that)
Now, of all the stories and suggestions that you have heard, I know that you might have also heard about “traveling to Europe by foot” isn’t it? Well, it is real and it is not a bad idea, because one has to take some risks in order to achieve something great in life, since they say that “life is not a bed of roses” especially for those who were not born with silver spoons in their mouths. But at the same time, I must also tell you that the journey is not adviceful or encourageable, you just ought to know that it doesn’t give life guarantee. The chances of being persecuted along the way is 100%, the chances of death is 70%, while the chances of survival is 30%. But let it not drive you up the wall, you just have to be “BRAVE”. (Deuteronomy 13:6)
Now that you have made up your mind to hit the road, that is to embark on this long hazardous journey, get yourself prepared. Far from the fact that you will have to be transited many times from one place to another, the journey is called “TPPR”, (Two Parts of Perilous Routes), commonly known by people as “See Agadez see Libya, See Libya see Italy” or “See Agadez see Morocco, see Morocco see Spain”, therefore, you have the choice to make either to Morocco for Spain, or to Libya for Italy. When you get to one of these two African countries, you may decide to stay and work for a couple of time, or you may decide to cross Europe without delays, the choice is yours, but you must have with you at least USD $1,000 before you say “goodbye to your people” that will sustain you for both feeding and transportation fees.
Now, let us take the route of Libya. As a Nigerian, Beninese, Ghanaian, Gambian, Togolese, Senegalese, Cameroonian, your first arriving point will be “Agadez” the largest city in the central Niger, this is where most people from different parts of Africa amass, while making their transportation’s connections, because the city lies in the “Sahara desert”. Know that this is the largest desert in the world, covering a surface area of about 3.5 million square miles, you could find it sandy and some areas stony, it is roadless and treeless, maybe you could find a single dry tree at a certain area, but not assured, although, it depends on the area your compass navigates you through. Therefore, it is obvious that you will stand the risk of high sun intensity during summer, or heavy cold during winter, and you will find nowhere to dulge them. The minimum period of time to spend on the first movement through “Sahara desert” is four days, that is from “Agadez to Gatron”, Gatron is one of the Libya’s states sharing a common boundary with “Niger”, however, that still depends on your connection, if you make a bad one, you could spend more days.. Notwithstanding the fact that you made a good connection, there is still 50% possibility of missing your way, which would result your driver into driving around the desert, including where he has passed before, without even noticing. For this reason, people spend two weeks or more in the desert, then, your food and water will have finished. Whenever this problem occurs, women are sustained longer than the men, because they can Urinate up to five times haven’t drunken any water, whereas the men can only urinate twice. You may survive for some days without food, but definitely not without water, subsequently, at a certain point, you as a man will have to buy “Urines” from the women to drink, while the women will drink from theirs.
Those drivers are mostly from Chad and Niger, they are very wicked and they don’t value human’s life. If a passenger falls down from the vehicle, they will never stop to pick him or her, and we know that the desert is very wide, so, it is possible that one may not see another vehicle passing through that same area within two days, for these reasons people die. There are two types of vehicles that are being used, (911, also known as combined) the one you’re seeing its picture on top here. Then, Hilux, one man’s business). 911 is likely safer because it is a combination of different connections, they always keep their eyes on it to make sure it delivers in peace, and again even if one falls down while on the move, which is usual, one could also run to meet them because it runs very slowly, other passengers would lay helping hands to lift him or her up. But the disadvantage is the fact that it runs at a snail’s pace (very slowly) so, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that it could spend not less than 10 days in the desert, even though nothing happens to the vehicle apart from the usual stops for people to eat and sleep for like 3 hours. The Hilux is quicker but incurs more risk, if at all nothing goes wrong, you could see Gatron within four days, but obviously, it will encounter some obstacles like; getting spoilt, but the drivers are mechanical engineers themselves and they will have with them everything it would take to fix it. Far from that, it will encounter an obstacle like; sinking in the sandy area, which will demand everyone to come down (to push). Bear it in mind that no matter the quantity of food and water that is taken along by all the passengers which will be allowed by the drivers into that small vehicle that will also Carry up to 42 passengers, they must finish within three days, therefore, you must be prepared to stay without food and water for at least one day, and that’s if nothing goes wrong. But if paraventure the vehicle encounters any, or all of these problems, you will spend more than you expect, then, where would you gain the strengths to push the vehicle out of the soft, sandy-hill areas? You will have no choice than to wait for God’s miracle.
Your drivers will tell you all to say your last prayers, that you have come to the end of the road (everybody must die), then, they walk a little distance away from you to lie down, smoking and drinking alcohol. During this period, their hearts have turned to stones and are easily provoked, if anyone of you cries louder than others, they could shoot the person. They have accepted death even before you, but they seek for a little opportunity to kill everybody before they die.. Don’t worry, all you need is to be prayerful and faithful, desert is disastrous but also miraculous. (Isaiah 35:1-10) After you might have given up, you may be crying until you sleep off, but really, someone might wake you up for good, or better still, before you all wake up in the morning, you will find out that “Breeze has blown the sandy-hill away” demanding no one to push the vehicle again. That’s the way God works for his children in the Sahara desert. If not, this is why people die.. Apart from the problems of the vehicles, there are still other challenges that people do face which affect the women mostly. They are sometimes raped by the drivers. And again, whenever they get mad at you for noise makings and complaints, they could drop you, forcing you to sleep with one another at gun points. For this reason do women get unwanted pregnancies before reaching their destinations.
(Oh! You have arrived in Gatron at last, thank God.)
The moment you get here, the transportation’s connection you have made has expired, you will have to make another connection that will drive you from “Gatron to Sabha”. Beware! Because there are many Black Africans that reside here doing all sorts of violative businesses like; Human trafficking, Forcing women into prostitution, etc. Each of them has a place called “Ghetto”, and in one of these places will you stay for at least three days before moving to Sabha, (whichever state you get to in Libya, it is your driver that is responsible to find you a ghetto nearby). If you are a woman going to Europe for prostitution, then, Gatron is the place you may start from, either being forced or voluntarily. If you are a man, your ghetto boss’s target would be either duping you to frustration, or selling you to poor Libyan farmers, where they will imprison you to labor for them, yet, getting no payment. Therefore, while in the ghetto, you will need to be very careful and fast in making your connection to Sabha, it is a straight road and a half day journey without much stress. The people there can be extremely wicked and helpful, but that will depend on your first impression the very day you arrived. Once they see you as a wise and a serious person, they will even be the one to help you find a good connection.
You have finally arrived in Sabha. Which means (you are now fully welcomed to Libya). Sabha is one the metropolitan states of Libya, highly populated by foreigners from different parts of the world, mostly Africans. It is hotter than for example; “Lagos” in Nigeria. If your money was stolen along your way before arriving here, there is nothing to worry about, in Sabha you could do some odd jobs like; Washing cars, or buying yourself a Hammer and a chisel, with which you would use in breaking down old houses, pulling old tiles, etc. This job is common in Libya, and it is generally called “Kasora”, through which you could raise another money to continue your journey. But, mind you that human trafficking which I mentioned earlier that goes on in Gatron happens most in Sabha, so, whenever you go out from the ghetto where you are staying to work or to somewhere else, you will have to be very vigilant, otherwise, you may be kidnapped by the Libyans themselves (Asima boys) demanding you to pay a huge amount of money before they release you, one could also be kidnapped more than once if not careful, and this has frustrated many people, leaving them with no choice than to remain in Libya and forget about moving to Europe, because they cannot raise the amount needed for the transport fee to Tripoli where they will make the last connection to Europe. But, if you have not lost your money in the first place, I would suggest you to make a quick connection to Tripoli without wasting much time in Sabha, because for as long as you stay in a ghetto, you must be paying for rent, however, it is not always much, because there would be many people in a single room, as large in number that you may not be able to turn your body after you have laid down. Such places are always cheap, and that is how every ghetto in Libya is. But, to avoid contacting diseases, or falling into the hands of these slave traders, it would be better you find your way to Tripoli as soon as possible, because Sabha is as dangerous as a broken bottle.
There are two connection alternatives for going to Tripoli, it is either through straight road or through desert. But, the two options have equal risks, although, it is unpredictable that you cannot figure out which one would be safer.
Straight road, this is just a day journey, however, it costs more than of the desert route. If you have the vaccination card/yellow card, which Libyans call “X pataka”, then, you may be somehow free from the police, but definitely not free from the Asima boys and some of their police men that are crazy, but if you don’t have this card, it’s worst. You would stand the risks of being held by the police on the way, the penalty would be sending you to prison, and then deport you back to your country after some months you will have spent in the prison with hard labor. And again, the so called Asima boys are always the drivers to take people to Tripoli from Sabha, therefore, with or without this card, they sometimes divert their passengers to a secluded area where they would be kept for a long time, demanding money from them at gun points. Obviously, they will collect from everyone like twice or more, then, if you happen to be involved and you have just the money for crossing to Europe, it would be obvious that you will call home for more money. When they feel that they are due with what they have gotten from you all, they will take you to Tripoli, but that is if anyone among them is merciful to plead and convince the others, if not, they will abandon you all there. Think of how secluded that place might be, and for the fact that you have no document guarding you, if you wander about searching for the main road, you may get yourselves into the hands of another group of criminals, or the police men, which would eventually land you in prison and also back to your country thereafter, this reason people die… (Solutions) Never you think that Libya is a country that its route was discovered only for the reason of crossing to Europe because of the Mediterranean sea, majority of Africans live and work there, and don’t even think of going to Europe for the kind of money they make. Consequently, whenever people find themselves into a situation like this, they obscurely search for uncompleted buildings. Libya has always been and will always be under infrastructure, that is to say, anywhere you are in Libya you will always see a lot of buildings under construction, and the builders are always foreigners, mainly Africans. African workmen in Libya are likely good, unlike those ones into business like, (Ghetto bosses). So, you will find a building under construction, and the people there could help you for shelter and job until the money for your journey completes.
Desert way, first of all, I want you to know that the previous desert you have experienced is more risky than the one you’re about to enter, because it is a boundary between two countries, even a single helicopter flying across, you cannot find there, and there is no network for phone calls. While this very desert is inside a country, therefore, there are possibilities that the drivers could make calls if your vehicle misses its way, and you could also be seen by helicopters within two days, and again the Xpataka is not necessary. But the truth is that you will experience more pains than your first trip in the desert because of how the drivers will stack you on the Hilux like “Geisha sardines”, covering you with an opaque trampoline and putting up blocks round the edges.
This way, desert forces will not notice what they are carrying. The journey is not more than three days if no obstacles, but nevertheless, it is possible for one to die on that Hilux after his breath is ceased for the way they stacked you. Despite the fact that the journey is three days or more, there would be no stops for food, lest the desert forces catch you. But if unfortunately they meet these forces, they would have no choice than to drop you and go their ways, these forces are normally with dictative dogs, they could find you whichever area you are.
It is true that desert is big, but it is wide open, therefore, they must find you. But if none of these obstacles happen, then, you will only suffer pains, hunger and thirsty, the drivers mostly go on credit, hoping to collect their money when they get to Tripoli, therefore, they always try their best to make sure they deliver you for their money, that is to say, the thought of abandoning you in the desert is out of their plan, unless something else happens unexpectedly.
(Wow! You have just completed your first step of journeying through the two parts of Perilous Routes. Congratulations!)
This is Tripoli, the state capital of Libya, so, it is more peaceful and secured than other states of Libya, because of numerous police men patrolling around its cities. There are no much Asima boys, and the ones there operate with fear. But for the sake of the police, you are to hide yourself more than ever, so that you will not be cought, remember (you have no document). Here is the final place where you will have to make your connection to Europe, be careful!
There are two main places involved in this business of crossing Africans to Europe, they are; Tripoli and Sabratha/Zawiya, because they share boundary with the Mediterranean sea, but you are not to decide whether Tripoli or Sabratha. Now you’re at the Ghetto, you will just have to pay your crossing money to the ghetto boss, and then, dedicate your life to God, praying without ceasing, because you’re about to embark on a suicidal journey, and you will never know the day. If it would be from Tripoli, then, the suffering would be less, but if it would have to be from Sabratha, then, you will still have to be stacked on a Hilux or Truck like Geisha sardines again, or even in the boot of a car. While in the ghetto, you are not allowed to come outside the way you were allowed in Gatron and Sabha, because the police knows that ilegal immigrants are crossing from Libya to Europe through Tripoli and Sabratha, so, the security is very tight.
Wether from Tripoli or Sabratha, the next place to move from the ghetto is to the camp, is it built in a secluded area and not too far from the seaside, there are many camps, but they will just have to take you to one of them. It is just like an empty plot of land surrounded with high fence, so that no passenger could run, once you get there, (There would be no going back). You will meet thousands of passengers there, people from other connections, too. And I’m sorry to tell you, life in the camp of Libya is hell, you will suffer so much that you will regret ever embarking on this journey in the first place. Why? It is because your movement determines on wheather, they don’t just push you to go and die on the sea, they always make sure that the sea would be calm for at least three days. Therefore, your date of departure would be unpredictable, you may spend one to four months, even more or less while waiting for weather. Then, your money will have finished long ago. However, your connection men will bring food for you weekly, but definitely cannot feed thousands of people. Many will contact diseases from dirts, and they are always contagious. Many will also die of hunger and sickness… The worst thing is that even when there is good weather, they could only push like four boats, which contains 120 passengers each, so, your being among would depend on how lucky you are. Sometimes Libyan police do come there to carry people to prison, but it doesn’t happen always, so let us assume that it will not happen and you will not die there, perhaps you may contact a minor disease, but don’t worry, when you get to Europe, (Oyibo female doctors) will treat you for free.
Welcome to the seaside!
It is always at the night that they will bring you here from the camp because of police, and again, the fear of the sea if they allow you see it in the day time. The boat is called ‘Lampedusa’, it is made of trampoline with a small engine, they will pump it in the morning of the night that they will have to take you there, just to be sure that it doesn’t have a single leakage. You will not be allowed to wear any clothe that has ‘zip’, nor put on iron belt, or anything relating to sharp objects, lest it tears the boat. Immediately it is 1:00am they will start the loading.
once it is done, one person among you will be chosen as the captain, then, another intelligent person will volunteer himself out to read the compass. Normally, it is one day journey with the Lampedusa, then two days with ship. The ships are the rescuers, the countries involved in the business are Malta, Turkey, Germany and Italy. Therefore, you may not know the people that will rescue you. They are already between the European’s and African’s territory waiting, for they have seen you with helicopter, but cannot cross their territory, neither would they come close to the Lampedusa, because it’s always coming with heavy waves.
Why do people die? Apart from the fact that no one goes with any sharp objects, the boat can still burst for one of these four reasons; Fighting in the boat. Pain is something that is sometimes unbearable, almost a day journey with a boat carrying 120 people, it is obvious that women sitting down must develop leg pains, and must point fingers at each other, and from quarrelling to fighting, then, the boat could burst. Compass strategy. Mediterranean sea is as wide as a desert, therefore, if your compass’s reader misses the direction, then, you have lost your way, the captain will keep rotating around without noticing it, two days you’re still on the boat. The planks used in constructing the under it will disorve, then, water comes in. Spoilt engine. This boat is built for only going and not to return, therefore, they won’t spend much money constructing it. Its engine could spoil along the way, then, the wave will keep rotating it until its planks get desorved. Impatience. This is one of the reasons people die most in the Mediterranean sea. When you see the rescuers, you are not supposed to move your body, for they will from the ship come to you with small flying boats.
They will have with them enough lifejackets that will reach everyone, but when they start sharing it, people leave their positions to drag with people in the front, then, the boat will capsize.
Before you get to the European territory, there are still chances of you being cought on the sea by the Libyan Navy or Asima boys, toeing you back to Libyan prison, and from there back to your country. But if God be on your side, then, your journey would be a successful one. Once you have gotten onto the ship, I can assure you that you would be in Europe in the next two days, either Germany or Italy, mostly.