A 22-year-old Nigerian woman trying to migrate into Europe through the rough Sahara Desert survived after being left behind by traffickers for 10 days.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, the woman nicknamed Adoara, was the only female among the survivors that were rescued.
“She left Nigeria in early April hoping for a better future in Europe. “There were 50 migrants on the pick-up truck when it left Agadez for Libya, but only six are still alive today,” the Niger Chief of Mission for IOM, Giuseppe Loprete, said.
The Nigerian survivor said while recounting her ordeal: “We were in the desert for 10 days. After five days, the driver abandoned us. “He left with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours, but he never did”.
When 44 of the migrants died during the following two days, the remaining six were persuaded to start walking to look for help.
“We had to drink our own pee to survive,” said the woman now in an IOM camp in Niamey, Niger. She had left Nigeria with two close female friends, who both died in the desert.
“They were too weak to keep going. We buried a few, but there were just too many to bury and we didn’t have the strength to do it,” Adaora adds. “I couldn’t walk anymore. I wanted to give up,” she recalled.
However, two other migrants carried her until a truck driver picked them up and took them to local authorities who then alerted IOM staff in Dirkou in the Agadez Region of north-eastern Niger.
She gave a detailed account of her experience to both the authorities and IOM staff after receiving medical assistance. Two of the other migrants from the group went back with IOM staff and the authorities to find the bodies and identify the victims.