The struggle of the women of Sine Saloum to preserve the environment for future generations.
Personal story, May 2021, Senegal – In the Sine Saloum region, north of the Gambia and south of Dakar, the inhabitants of a small village have been working for several years to protect their environment, which is threatened by climate change as well as by human activities such as fishing and unregulated logging. In this natural region, which has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country as well as exceptional flora and fauna, the mangrove (mangrove forest), which is both a food source and a protective barrier against the ocean, is threatened: fish are becoming scarcer, forcing fishermen to go further and further out to sea.
Faced with these urgent problems, which threaten the food security of the villagers and push young people to the rural exodus due to lack of employment, women have been in the forefront to push for change about twenty years ago. Mothers of families, grouped together in a federation, became involved in preserving the mangrove through annual reforestation campaigns and by raising awareness of its vital importance. Joined since then by the new generation, they have also created income-generating activities (oyster picking, micro-financing, etc.) to ensure financial autonomy and encourage the return of young people who have left for the city. If the efforts remain considerable, the changes are visible for the community, now totally involved, but also on the environment.