Leadership in Lampedusa

Lampedusa a small Italian island in Mediterranean with 2500 people. It is famous as a tourist attraction. In the month of March due to insurgency in Libya, 1000s of people fled their country on to Mediterranean to find safe places.

The first wave of about 2000 people entered this tiny island – but it was not pretty scene as Lampeduscions were not ready to let Libyans in and they protested whole night to stop Libyans entering.

But Mayor Dino convinced people that they will be here for a short stay and let them in. Libyans mostly youngsters were flocking the migration building day after and with the help of Dino they were able to find some government buildings to stay. With cold and no food Libyans were helpless and were questioning themselves whether their decision to leave their country was wrong?

Mayor Dino was onto his feet from the day these refugees landed and helped them to accommodate some in shelters, food was arranged, and some basic amenities were established. On the other hand people of Lampedusa were angry against the whole idea and were blaming Italian government and the local authorities for the situation in their little town island. Dino was under immense pressure and further strained by the decision of Italian chief officer in Palermo to shelter the refugees in the island itself.

The refugees poured in from ships each day and the refugees’ population doubled within a week and was overtaking the native population. Their condition was worse than in Libya and they had to sleep in seashore with no access to any food or any basic amenities.

 What really interested me was the role of Mayor Dino in the whole episode. He displayed tremendous resilience towards both the people of island and the officials of Italy. It was a scene of rising to the occasion. He didn’t loose temper in the whole process and single handedly controlled the situation of flooding in refugees from Libya. Convinced people of island to be patient and sympathetic towards Libyan refugees and he soiled himself to help these refugees out with whatever he could do in his power. When the refugees wave flooded this little island, Dino was under tremendous pressure both from authorities as well people but he dint loose his focus from the problem. He was addressing all the stakeholders and made sure it never went out of his hand.  He was able to get attention of media and Italian authorities and convinced them in getting Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s attention. For the first time Italian premier set his foot on this island, but with great effort Dino carefully addressed his people to come up with issue only at hand and be objective and presented the island problem with clarity.

 In total he was a true leader who really cared for people’s problem and probably the best display of his inherent qualities to overcome the discomfort caused by the crisis.


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