Becky Moses, a 26-year-old Nigerian woman has died in a fire incident in a tent city housing hundreds of migrants in San Ferdinando, leading to protests by over 100 other immigrants.
Some of them held photos of Becky. Two other women were badly hurt and dozens of others received treatment for less serious injuries, La Repubblica reported.
According to the newspaper, Moses had only been staying in the encampment for a few days before her death. She was previously a resident in Riace. However, having recently had her application for political asylum denied, Moses was obliged to leave Riace and had been sleeping instead in a tent in San Ferdinando.
The encampment is home to around 1,000 people living in tents and shacks. Most of the residents work as labourers on local farms.
According to the Italian aid group Doctors for Human Rights (Medu), as many as 3,000 labourers – the majority of them with valid residence permits for Italy – live in the camp at the height of the harvest, working for minimal wages and sleeping without electricity or running water in conditions that the NGO describes as “shamefully inhumane”.
The cause of the fire last weekend is unclear, though smaller blazes in the past have resulted from residents lighting bonfires for warmth. As a result of Monday’s march, USB said, regional authorities have agreed to allow people living in the camp to register as local residents.