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Senegal’s Sinking Villages

by Daisy Oweipublished on 25th June 2021

Al Jazeera investigates Senegal’s Sinking Villages. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 200 million people will be displaced by 2050 due to shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and agricultural disruption.

Doune Baba Dieye was once a vibrant fishing community on the Langue de Barbarie, a narrow, 30km peninsula that has protected the Senegalese port city of Saint-Louis from the Atlantic Ocean for centuries. But changing weather patterns and heavy rainfall in 2003 led to flooding inland and a rise in sea levels that have now submerged part of the south of the peninsula.

Today, the southern part of the Langue de Barbarie is an island and the village of Doune Baba Dieye under more than a metre of water. But changing weather patterns and heavy rainfall in 2003 led to flooding inland and a rise in sea levels that have now submerged part of the south of the peninsula. Today, the southern part of the Langue de Barbarie is an island and the village of Doune Baba Dieye under more than a metre of water. But the impact of climate change would not have been so great had local authorities not tried to fix the problem.

By 2003, as rain hit record levels, the Senegal River threatened to overflow its banks and to flood the commercially important Saint-Louis. n an effort to redress the disaster, Senegal has launched a series of engineering studies and hired a French construction company to build an embankment that will shield coastal homes from the ocean. After a recent visit, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged $18.6m to help protect the historic city of Saint-Louis from coastal erosion, adding to existing funds from the World Bank.

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