The migrant reception centre on the Italian island of Lampedusa is far beyond full capacity, with as many as 1,800 migrants residing in the facility built to hold just 350.
The situation at the reception facility is in crisis due to an influx of migrant arrivals on the island, and the newly elected Mayor of Lampedusa has called for an urgent meeting with Italy’s Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese in order to deal with the issue.
Mayor Filippo Mannino has called on Minister Lamorgese, but sources from populist Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party have claimed the interior minister has not made herself available to discuss the matter.
The mayor has allegedly been told the minister will not be available until at least the end of July, Il Giornale reports.
“Affectionate solidarity with the mayor of Lampedusa and his fellow citizens, literally overwhelmed by the landings. We are sure that after the words of President [Mario] Draghi (‘we are at the limit’) the Minister of the Interior will finally do something. Soon I will be on the island,” Matteo Salvini said this week.
Matteo Salvini Laments ‘Collapse’ of Lampedusa from Illegal Migrant Onslaughthttps://t.co/T5b2M8WZNI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 15, 2022
According to a report from the news service ANSA, migrants at the Lampedusa facility are living in squalid conditions, as mountains of garbage and filthy mattresses cover the reception centre.
“They are all bunched up together. There are women as well — four of whom are pregnant — alongside children and those sick and in need of treatment, who sleep and eat on the ground amid the trash,” former Lampedusa mayor Giusi Nicolini said.
A total of 1,878 migrants are said to be in the reception facility as of Friday.
Lampedusa and its reception facility have been overwhelmed many times in recent years as boats have sometimes arrived with more migrants aboard them than the facility is meant to hold, such as in August of 2020 when a single vessel carrying 450 migrants arrived on the island.
Last year, Lampedusa saw a record number of arrivals, with at least 35,000 people landing by boat — around five times the size of the island’s total population.
So far in 2022, there have already been over 30,000 recorded landings.
Salvini Questions How Many Terrorists Have Come Through Lampedusa After Nice Church Attack https://t.co/TGQ7ZdwqDj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 1, 2020