Senegalese Beach Cleanup Efforts

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By Kizzi Asala with AFP

Environmental activist Medoune Ndoye alias Medza, has been on a mission for months to clean up the coastline of his native town Bargny in Senegal whose beach borders a fishing settlement that is wedged in by a motorway and industrial sites and has now become a festering trash dump for the town’s 60,000 residents for lack of regional disposal facilities.

Medza shares his frustrations after raising more for tools to carry out a 3-day cleanup of the beach, “This is the part that we cleaned up on the 15th and 16th of August but this morning I came back to check it out, but to my great surprise it seems as if we didn’t do anything.”

The Senegalese government — in an attempt to tackle the national ecological issue, banned single-use plastic this year. A move which appeared to have little impact on the ground.

Daouda Moustafa Diouf, deputy mayor of Bargny, stated some initiatives taken by the government, “Last year, in 2019, we made major investments because we became aware of what was happening here. Really it was in an indescribable state. The commune has taken care of it, and I can assure you that there are over 100 lorries worth of rubbish, of waste that has been extracted from this site.”

Trash collection points will be designated across town to discourage inhabitants from dumping. However, refuge dumped overboard by local fishermen and industrial trawlers that washes onto the beach will also have to be addressed.

And Bargny’s pollution problems go beyond the beach as a detritus-filled canal leading to the sea is so polluted that its water is sometimes stained pink or green.