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By Lisa Vives, Worldwide Information Community
Ny (IDN) — Saint-Louis, the previous colonial capital of Senegal, was constructed Wiskinny the Seventeenth century On the mouth of the Senegal River and was the capital of French West Africa till 1902. However These days rising sea levels have created a flooding menace that has already seen complete villages misplaced to the Atlantic.
Guet Ndar, a district of Saint-Louis, is a UNESCO World Heritage website. Mosques, homakes use of and A school tright here have already been misplaced to coastal erosion.
In 2003, the authorities dug a channel by way of the Langue de Barbarie, A skinny, sandy strip of land shielding Saint-Louis, so water might circulate out of the estuary and away from Saint-Louis when the Senegal River menaceened to flood.
However their bid To shield The metropolis backfired. Water circulateed each methods, eroding the banks of the channel till it opened into An limitless gulf, taking 800 meters of the Guet Ndar seashore, As properly as to neighboring villages, with it.
It additionally upset The fragile stability of the native ecosystem. The canal launched seawater into the river and has affected the inhabitants of unusual chook species and river fish. Coconut timber and mangroves That when shielded the shores have been Worn out.
Ahmet Sene Diagne used to stay In a single such village. He recollects how he went to the metropolis hall to warn in the direction of excavating the channel, but officers Did not pay attention. Now, all That Can be seen of Diagne’s village is the stump of a tree That when stood Wiskinny the central sq.—the tree that Diagne acquired married beneath.
Latyr Fall, deputy mayor of Saint-Louis, recollects the previous seawall That when shielded his metropolis. However the menace to “the Venice of Africa” is from local climate change, he insists—and The ocean diploma rise since colonial occasions Requires mannequin spanking new measures To shield the coast. “The wall Not shields us.”
The World Financial institution allotted $27 million to combOn The outcomes of local climate change in Saint-Louis. It estimates that 10,000 people Wiskinny The metropolis are both already displaced or stay wiskinny 20 metres of the waterline, the extreme-hazard zone.
By 2080, Based mostly on a research commissioned by the Senegalese authorities, 80% of Saint-Louis territory Shall be Weak to flooding by 2080 and 150,000 people Ought to relocate.
Saint-Louis has “already been wiped off the map,” said Boubou Aldiouma Sy, a geography professor On The metropolis’s Gaston Berger College.
In the meantime, Ahmet Sene Diagne now …….