THE MOURNERS: "When my husband left, my whole body was dead"

by Kieran Guilbert | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 5 October 2016 10:00 GMT

Falmata Diallo, 28, and her three children are relying on her late husband's family to provide for them after her husband attempted to migrate from Senegal to Europe but drowned on the crossing. Photo taken in Goudiry, Senegal, July 6, 2016. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Kieran Guilbert.

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GOUDIRY, Senegal, Oct 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Falmata Diallo, 28, and her three children are relying on her late husband's family to provide for them after her husband attempted to migrate to Europe but drowned on the crossing.

"When my husband left, I was sad. My whole body was dead. I could not say, or do, anything. I will not be the same.

He went to Europe to help feed his family. If he stayed here working, he could not have fed me or our children. There is no work here.

We spoke about his trip to Europe, but he had to leave.

I really did not know about the dangers of migration.

I did not hear from him often during the trip, but when someone migrates, you will worry no matter how often they call.

My husband's father and family are helping me. Since he left they are doing everything for us.

Of course it is way better to stay here with a little than to leave with nothing and have a bad journey.

Staying where your wife and family can see you is better than going to die elsewhere."

Halimatou Sane, 25, who lost her husband during his attempt to cross the Mediterranean, said she would not have let him leave Senegal had she known the dangers of the journey. Photo taken in Goudiry, Senegal, July 6, 2016. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Kieran Guilbert.

Halimatou Sane, 25, who also lost her husband during his attempt to cross the Mediterranean, said she would not have let him leave had she known the dangers of the journey.

"If your husband says he is leaving to find something for the family, you cannot disagree.

We stayed in touch by phone during the trip, but he told me nothing about the journey. I found out he died over the telephone.

I let my husband go. I never wanted to convince him to stay ... but I did not know that the road would be like that, so dangerous.

If I had known it was that bad, he would not have left.

When I see young women losing their husbands early due to migration, I feel lots of sad memories."

Samba Issa Anne, 74, and his wife have been struggling to cope since their two sons left Senegal to head to Europe before dying in the Mediterranean in 2014, leaving them and other relatives to care for their wives and children. Photo taken in Goudiry, Senegal, July 6, 2016. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Kieran Guilbert.

Samba Issa Anne, 74, and his wife have been struggling to cope since their two sons died in the Mediterranean in 2014, leaving them and other relatives to care for their wives and children.

"They left because they didn't have anything - they were young people who didn't see any path.

I could not stop them because they went to seek their fortune for their families. Nobody can prevent someone from emigrating if that person does not have anything to live for.

If I was young I would also want to leave to earn a decent living.

They took the boat to get (to Europe) and unfortunately it capsized. They never made it.

They were doing everything (for us). Food, things in the house, everything. It was them providing for the family.

When I heard their death, I was finished.

I am not a person anymore."

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