SARAJEVO: A view of improvised tents at a makeshift camp for migrants in a forest outside Velika Kladusa, a town in Bosnia.—Reuters
SARAJEVO: A view of improvised tents at a makeshift camp for migrants in a forest outside Velika Kladusa, a town in Bosnia.—Reuters

VELIKA KLADUSA: Their long journeys already filled with uncertainty and hardship, migrants stranded in Bosnia are now facing one more adversity a cold Balkan winter.

As the first snow of the season fell this week, many migrants staying in make-shift tent settlements in western Bosnia have been struggling to stay dry and warm.

Cobbled together from pieces of nylon and propped up with sticks, the migrant tents outside the town of Velika Kladusa are a poor cover for the people staying inside.

Bent under heavy snow, the tents are wet and cold while small fires offered meagre comfort. Migrants are wearing woollen caps and rain coats, but that is not enough.

“It is very cold now, last night (we had a) very big problem,” said 30-year-old Shahin from Bangladesh, who gave only his first name as is usual for migrants crossing borders illegally. “We are suffering very much, we have no sleeping place.” Migrants often travel for months, if not years, from the Middle East, Africa or Asia to reach Western Europe.

Thousands have been stuck in Bosnia, mostly in the west of the country that borders European Union member state Croatia. Migrants seeking to reach Croatia follow illegal routes over mountain passes allegedly facing pushbacks and violence in the hands of Croatia’s police.

At the make-shift camp in Polje, near Velika Kladusa, the snow apparently caught the migrants by surprise as they had left their belongings unprotected clothes that had been hung out to dry after washing were blanketed with snow, and boots and shoes were wet inside and out.

Huddling by the fires on Wednesday, some migrants were trying to cook some food, dry their clothes or just warm their hands in the biting cold.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2020


Living in Karachi
19 Jan 2021

Living in Karachi

The poor often end up paying more than middle-income segments.


Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...
Updated 18 Jan 2021

More ignominy for PIA

Decades of mismanagement, nepotism and political opportunism were bound to take their toll.
18 Jan 2021

Agriculture woes

AGRICULTURE is the lifeline of Pakistan’s economy. It is a source of livelihood for two-thirds of the country’s...
18 Jan 2021

Internet access

AS the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, and shows few signs of dissipating, one of the many lessons policymakers should ...