A huge wall has been built at a cost of £2.3 million to separate the now bulldozed Calais Jungle was passing trucks. The refugee camp was demolished two months ago and its thousands of residents were removed by the busload and taken to processing centres around France.
Now, a wall has been erected, funded by Britain in a bid to prevent the camp springing back up again. The construction has come in for criticism given its high cost. building the wall has cost more than constructing a wood shelter camp for 2,500 refugees nearby in Dunkirk. It would also be the same cost of housing and supporting 300 Syrian refugees.
The concrete barrier which, at four metres high, is pretty much impossible to scale, runs for a kilometre of main road where the camp used to sit.
Aid workers reacted with anger at the new wall. Help Refugees worker Tina Brocklebank, who works in a warehouse in Calais which sends aid to resettlement camps and to the French capital where thousands of displaced refugees are now sleeping on the streets, described the walls as a “complete joke”. She added that it was a “very costly political point-scoring exercise.”
Ms Brocklebank said that rather than spending money on the wall, the cash could have been spent to “put a warm roof over refugees’ heads”. She added that there was no point in the construction because any refugees in Calais were automatically removed and taken to detention centres, so no one wanted to make their way there anyway.
Many refugees, particuarly children, are understood to have gone missing during and after the demolition of the so-called Jungle. One in three child refugees are now missing, while others are said to be sleepig rough.
The Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart had also been against building of the wall, saying that it was not needed. However, her wishes were overturned by those of local government.