Mayotte – An island on the edge | DW Documentary
France’s overseas territory Mayotte is in a deep crisis. Can inhabitants like Wadaanti fulfil their dreams and leave precarious housing to study?
Geographically, the island of Mayotte is part of the Comoros archipelago, situated northwest of Madagascar. Yet politically, Mayotte is part of France and therefore a territory of the EU. A popular destination for migrants, mainly from the neighboring Comoros, but also from Africa, Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. Most of these migrants are forced to live in precarious housing, living in constant fear of being deported again. Frustration is growing among the local population due to a rise in crime, a lack of infrastructure, and inflation. Locals feel abandoned by the government and believe that migrants are to blame. With a water shortage on the island now, the situation is threatening to escalate. A report by Luisa von Richthofen.
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This is France people will die there will be tragedies if nothing changes the island of mayot in the Indian Ocean an overseas department and region of France 8,000 km from Paris part of the EU and the gateway to Europe many migrants come here but currently the island is overwhelmed and the migrant
Desperate sometimes I ask myself why I was born to live this life is there hope for the people of my Yacht W ATI shows us her parents house the 18-year-old grew up in a slum on the island around 4 and 10 of the Island’s inhabitants live in informal settlements hunger and high crime rates are part of everyday life for those that must live there the fear of being picked
Up by the police and deported is also ever present W’s parents came from the neighboring Islands the karus years ago while she was born in myot went to school there and has French citizenship she is unable to receive an ID card and is therefore prevented from studying
Twice she has been picked up by the police the officers intimidating her she now no longer dares to go to the authorities for help I will stay here lose this year and have to give up everything I had imagined all of my dreams sometimes I ask myself why why
Was I born to live this life I was told that with French citizenship you can have everything but it’s not made it easier for me W Auntie’s sole consolation her daily Chats on the phone with her friends they are already on La another French island with better prospects for the future waiting for
Her myot is about 8,000 kilom from Paris the island is part of the korus archipelago which was once French Colonial territory unlike its sister Islands mayot chose in the 1970s to remain with France you pay with your is here and French is the official language the approx proximately 300,000
Inhabitants of the island are also entitled to social benefits health care and education much as in Mainland France an island of relative prosperity in one of the poorest regions in the world a portal to Europe up to 10 boats with hundreds of migrants arve from the Kamar every day the nearest island is only 70 km away and the Border Police are completely overwhelmed there are now as many foreigners living on the island as there are French citizens many of them without papers Mohamed W’s cousin originally a
Koran came to mayot as a teenager he now helps young people from the slums to obtain a residence permit when I look at these teens it pains me the state hinders young people who want to succeed and who are motivated the French government wants to curb immigration at all costs having
Passed special laws for the Territory children born in France are automatic entitled to citizenship but this does not apply to the people of mayot anyone caught on the island without valid papers is deported to the korus in a FastTrack process the European Court of human rights has condemned France for
This France gives the Kos a lot of money to stop people from coming here but they come to mayot anyway only to realize that there are more problems here this is how thousands end up in the poverty trap hadija the daughter of Korean migrants is no exception despite having grown up in
Precarious housing she graduated from high school and had dreams of becoming a nurse but that’s not possible without papers her only hope now is to never never encountered the police again this is how I spend my time doing the dishes cleaning I don’t do anything really France doesn’t want these
Children and on the kamaras island they are also considered unwanted they’re called the Nini a whole generation stuck in an impossible situation but hadijah Keeps On Believing People in the same situation as me don’t have to give up on their dreams God is there he sees us he gives us strength you just have to be patient myot acts as a gateway to Europe for many African people the Asylum Seekers mainly come from central Africa and
Somalia one example is frederi a teacher who has been here for 2 months he fled from the militias in eastern Congo to protect him we have made him unrecognizable we flee crossing the Congo then Rwanda and Tanzania and then we hear about mayot there are meant to be human rights and protections in
France the conditions we must live in are unbelievable fredi shares the Hut and mattresses with nine others hundreds of Asylum Seekers are homeless because there is not enough emergency accommodation one group has set up home on the grounds of a stadium without any assistance we’ve built some provisional
Huts it’s really only protection from May’s strong sun and the rain does this protect you from rain no but we have no choice no electricity no restrooms no drinking water the inhabitants wash themselves in a stream when money runs out that’s all also the water they have to
Drink diseases spread quickly here the many children living on the side are especially affected some are seriously ill like this five month old baby people will die there will be tragedies if nothing changes we thank France but we also have to survive even if we are refugees and
Migrants it can take months sometimes even years to learn if they will be granted Asylum only a few of them will make it to France Safa is the sharew woman of the most important citizens Alliance in mayot like many others in myot she considers migration to be the biggest problem on the Island the island is too small there’s such pressure from the migration we don’t have enough resources there is a water shortage in
Myot with poverty affecting more than 3/4 of the population however sula’s fellow citizens complain most about juvenile delinquency the cases are piling up and violence is Rising a school bus is attacked for a few cell phones resulting in five young people being seriously injured many believe that young migrants have joined gangs like this one we live in constant Terror with questions such as what got us into this situation who is to
Blame how have we reached this point of no return without the state finding a solution the problems seem to be too far away for the authorities in Paris leaving the citizens of mayot feeling forgotten Sula and her Alliance are taking matters into their own hands and organizing demonstrations and Patrols in
Places where they believe the state is failing [Applause] them I’m fighting for myself but especially for my children and for the children of others that are living here there’s no trust left my yach has been Neglected it’s good newss for w aunti she finally has an appointment at a citizen’s office in the capital a few days later the administration had put her application on hold but now W ATI could get her papers Soon they will treat my case as an emergency I’m so happy I feel like my dreams could come true nothing can Stop Me Now what will happen on the island has the state failed the prefecture the representation of the French government in myot refuses to be interviewed all questions are ignored despite repeated requests W ATI has done it she’s preparing for her first Exams but for many others the future on myot is very much Uncertain
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