Pollution, development and negligence: Dakar coastline victim of urbanisation

Our Observer created a video report to investigate pollution on  Dakar beaches.
Our Observer created a video report to investigate pollution on Dakar beaches. © Observers

Baye Wane is a medical student and YouTuber in Dakar, Senegal. While he usually makes videos about smartphones, he said that he was inspired by our show to make a report about something he cares deeply about: the coastline in Dakar. With on-the-ground reporting, satellite imagery and maps, he showed how wastewater pollution and development have marred the beaches around the Senegalese capital.


"I will show you how those who run things have destroyed the northern coast of Dakar." This is how Baye Wane begins the nine-minute report that he sent to the FRANCE 24 Observers team in December. We have shared excerpts of that report in this episode of The Observers. 

Baye filmed over 17 kilometres of coastline, from Tivaouane Peulh to Diamalaye, to show how the beaches on the outskirts of Dakar have increasingly been used as sewage outlets. This neglect goes hand in hand with rapid urbanisation in the capital.

The young student also pointed out the destruction of a strip of pine trees that have preserved the coastline since the 1940s. The forest zone was recently declassified to allow development even closer to the ocean.

Baye used on-the-ground reporting techniques as well as satellite images to show the widespread effects of rapid development in Dakar. He told us he hopes his report will “make some noise”, and he plans to make more videos like this one.