Recent reports have indicated that this year alone at least thirty-two thousand migrants from West Africa have reached the shores of Spain. These numbers have certainly overwhelmed authorities in Spain and it has therefore become a crisis.
This is a problem not only for Spain but almost all European countries will have to find a way of reducing or controlling the numbers of irregular migrants who reach their shores. In fact, this has become a political talking point and most political parties in the West use it as a campaign issue.
Many citizens of Europe see these irregular migrants as people coming to take away their jobs and enjoy social benefits and that does not sit down well with most citizens. As a result, they hold their politicians responsible if there is a huge influx of migrants in their countries.
On the side of the West Africans, many of the citizens see themselves as hopeless in their own countries and will therefore do anything to reach Europe where they see as a land paved with gold and a place where it is very easy to become rich. This is heightened by the fact that there is a lack of employment opportunities and a high cost of living.
Sadly, many lives are being lost due to these perceptions whether they are correct or wrong. Recently, many young lives have been lost and the numbers are still rising. Every other day, there are reports of young people who have been reported dead or missing at sea while on their way to Europe.
Even the loss of one life is one too many and therefore everything must be done to reduce the numbers of young Gambians losing their lives at sea. There must be a multipronged approach to end this problem as it is very complex and must be studied carefully so as to come up with policies which can reduce it.