Nile Swimmers are horrified by the significant increase in deaths by drowning in the Mediterranean and the Bay of Bengal. Across the world, millions of people are left with no option but to cross water to flee from bombings, fighting and persecution in their homelands. These people are some of the most vulnerable in the world. These people are drowning trying to reach a place of relative safety.
This ongoing loss of life is entirely preventable, yet the world’s politicians continue to blunder on implementing a suitable response. This is inexcusable. While it is a political decision to offer asylum, it is a moral obligation of all people to safeguard human life where possible.
As an organisation focused on keeping people safe in and around water in Africa, Nile Swimmers recognises the significant numbers of refugees and “internally displaced persons” (IDPs) living in African countries in extremely difficult situations close to water, and risking crossing bodies of water as they travel to places of relative safety.
We know that simple interventions can save lives, and we call on states, communities and humanitarian organisations to take urgent action through the provision of:
- Suitable safety and rescue services on all waters frequented by refugees.
- Water safety advice to refugees at common crossing points and in refugee camps.
- Adequate life-saving equipment on boats and around key crossing points.
Nile Swimmers is working hard to build the capacity of local community, government organisations, and non-governmental organisations in Africa to respond appropriately to these daily tragedies, but we cannot do it alone.
Nile Swimmers is pro-actively calling out to organisations working with these vulnerable people to better understand the problem and implement suitable solutions for IDP/refugee camps in Sudan.
Link to PDF: NS – Refugee Drowning Statement