Out of the Sky

## Reader’s letter to The Guardian, 15th April 2021 ### …

Dear Editor,

I read the disturbing report by Sirin Kale (15th April 2021, link below) of the Kenyan stowaway who fell out of a plane’s wheel-well onto a street in Clapham in 2019.

That is infinitely tragic but not surprising: A few years ago I visited the African migrants camped out in the hills around Melilla (the Spanish enclave in Morocco). They were educated guys but their stories repeated themselves again and again: They had been told that education would bring them forward but instead they found themselves a.) unemployed, b.) well-informed (via the Internet) and, c.) without the old (rural) skills of their parents and grandparents. So they felt they had no option but to head out for Europe.

Indeed, one of them had even made the crossing from Senegal to England on the propeller-shaft of an ocean-going freighter with his friend falling into the blades of the propeller as the ship arrived in port.

The biggest question to ask is what are the drivers of this migration? Recently the WWF published figures that reveal that European buying patterns make Europe the second biggest driver of tropical deforestation after China. So what other impacts do our buying patterns and aggressive trade deals (e.g. the Economic Partnership Agreements) have on weaker economics such as in Africa? I am convinced that our hunger for land, our demand for cheap, exotic produce and the dumping of our surpluses on vulnerable countries is a major driver of migration.

That needs investigating and we urgently need to change our rapacious economic model!

Alan Mitcham

Link to original article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/15/man-who-fell-from-the-sky-airplane-stowaway-kenya-london

Link to WWF Report: https://www.euronews.com/living/2021/04/14/eu-is-the-world-s-second-biggest-importer-of-tropical-deforestation-says-wwf






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