Friday, March 24

Burst of river banks renders farmers dissatisfied in Senegal

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The overflow of River Gambia has made scores of farmers unhappy in Senegal, according to reports monitored by The Point.
“Several hectares sown with market gardening and corn were impacted. Most of these young people are helpless in the face of this situation.”
“It is a drama experienced by these market gardeners and corn producers. Several sown hectares located on the banks of the Gambia River were impacted by the overflow of the Gambia River.”

“A situation noted in recent times and which is due to heavy rains recorded by Guinea from where the river has its source.”

Makhan Keïta, a young market gardener and corn producer recounts his ordeal. “We are market gardeners but almost every year, we are confronted with this overflow of the river, our corn and vegetable fields are invaded by water. Frankly, it’s hard, we are helpless in the face of this situation.”

“This activity is our only source of income,” he says.

Not far from the town of Kédougou, 8 km in the village of Samecouta, the observation is the same.

Yoro Danfakha, a maize farmer has more than one hectare of his field under water. “We were impacted. I had more than two hectares of corn washed away and I have to sell one and a half hectares,” he says.

Young people far from emigration and gold from Kédougou

For the most part, these are young people who have relied on their crops to feed their families. Thanks to these non-negligible income-generating activities, they preferred the land to the soul-crushing sea in search of a better or supposed world. They are also content with this hard work, forgetting the gold of Kédougou which does not manage to make the lives of young people shine, nor to develop the region. “With this market gardening, we do not need to borrow canoes for El Dorado or to queue in front of mining companies for daily work. Our only wish is to be supported with equipment such as motor pumps and fences,” said Makhan Keïta. It should be noted that it is thanks to these young people that the market of Kédougou is supplied with vegetables but also with corn.

Last Monday, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation had called for vigilance following the “gradual rise in water levels with a high probability of overflowing the Senegal and Gambia rivers.”

On the basis of hydrological data collected at hydrometric stations, the Ministry of Serigne Mbaye Thiam specified that “the rise in the water level had accelerated,” with a level “close to the alert level at the station hydrometric of Kédougou.”

This level was “6.48 meters on Sunday August 21 at 6 p.m., then at 6.75 meters this Monday at 5 a.m., while the alert level at the Kédougou station is 7 meters.” And the ministry warned that if this trend continued in the hours that followed, “overflow of the river will inevitably occur in Kédougou, then in Gouloumbou.” the technicians assured. All the same, “the Senegal River displayed (had) less worrying indicators than the River Gambia.”