Work Starts On Wall Near Calais 'Jungle' Migrant Camp

Work starts on wall near Calais 'Jungle' migrant camp

CALAIS, France, (Pakistan Point News - APP -20th Sept,2016) : Building work began Tuesday on a wall to protect the port in the northern French city of Calais from repeated attempts by migrants to stow away on trucks heading for Britain, an AFP reporter said. The concrete wall, one kilometre (half a mile) long and four metres (13 feet) high, will pass within a few hundred metres of the sprawling migrant camp known as the "Jungle", which charities say now houses more than 10,000 people.

The wall will extend the wire fences that already run down each side of the main road leading to the port. Local authorities say it is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Britain is paying the 2.7 million euro ($3.0 million) cost of the wall. The Jungle camp has become a sore point in relations between France and Britain, the main destination for most of the migrants who gather there. Migrants from the camp sometimes use tree branches to create roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain.

When the trucks slow down, migrants try to clamber into the trailers to stow away as the trucks head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries. - Close down Jungle - ===================== French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said this month the Jungle would be closed down "as quickly as possible" but said it would be done in stages. Residents of Calais want the government to set a date for the entire camp to be razed.

Local authorities say the wall is also designed to dissuade people traffickers from operating around the Jungle. It will be made of concrete panels that can be removed when no longer needed. "This wall is going to prevent migrants from getting onto the road every night. They put tree trunks, branches, gas cylinders" in the road to stop the trucks, Calais port chief executive Jean-Marc Puissesseau said earlier this month. "We can no longer continue to put up with these repeated assaults," he said.

The population of the Jungle has swelled by more than 1,000 people since August, bringing the total population to more than 10,000, two charities working there said Monday. The figures from the groups working at the Jungle are disputed by French authorities, who according to the last official count on August 19 put the number of migrants at 6,900. Migrants from Sudan make up the largest nationality, with 43 percent, according to the French association L'Auberge des Migrants and the British non-governmental organisation Help Refugees, while 33 percent were from Afghanistan.