The hygiene under the Gare du Nord leaves a lot to be desired due to the influx of transmigrants who have no other place to go, according to the station’s toilet attendant. De Lijn drivers no longer want to serve the bus stops under the station due to the unsanitary conditions, politicians blame each other and cannot seem to agree on how to handle the situation, and non-profit organisations like Médecins du Monde argue for a humane approach by, for example, setting up a reception centre.
Minister for Asylum and Migration De Block (Open Vld), however, does not want a reception centre to be set up, as she is afraid it would be a pull factor. The toilet attendants at the Gare du Nord just want a structural solution, so that everyone knows what they can and cannot do.
In February of 2019, the Brussels Region decided to turn the waiting area for the bus terminal into a resting area, where transmigrants could stay, separated from the commuters. The people staying under the station get free tickets to go to the paying public bathrooms of the CCN building. However, they do not keep it clean, said a toilet attendant of the Gare du Nord who wished to stay anonymous, to Bruzz.
“Every week, toilet seats break,” she said. “I try to tell them to clean up after themselves, but they do not understand French. I need someone to tell them what to do,” she added.
“There are no showers, so they wash themselves at the sinks, which leaves a mess of water on the floor,” she said. “Mostly the men leave everything a mess. Somehow, the women find a way to clean up after themselves,” she added.