Sunu Reew – Ousmane Sonko to Mansour Faye: “We know the essential problems of Saint-Louis” – Lequotidien

Sunu Reew – Ousmane Sonko to Mansour Faye: “We know the essential problems of Saint-Louis” – Lequotidien
Sunu Reew – Ousmane Sonko to Mansour Faye: “We know the essential problems of Saint-Louis” – Lequotidien

Coming to preside over the 2nd edition of the “Setal sunu reew” cleaning day in Saint-Louis, Ousmane Sonko implicitly responded to Mansour Faye, who had challenged him through the press on the problems of his commune. “We do not need to be given a memorandum or challenged on the problems of Saint-Louis. We know the essential problems of Saint-Louis,” said the PM, who was taking stock of the cleaning activity of the Old City.

By Sheikh NDIONGUE – With President Faye absent, Prime Minister Sonko took the spotlight on the second day of the Setal sunu reew operation organized this Saturday in Saint-Louis, faced with cyclical problems such as sanitation and structural problems such as the advance of the sea in a context of climate change. This increases the vulnerability of the Old City. “We know the essential problems of Saint-Louis very well, we do not need to be challenged or given a memorandum. Saint-Louis interests us, as do all the other localities in Senegal. We are going to focus our policy on a real mastery of development issues, citizen and social issues in order to be able to provide answers to them,” Ousmane Sonko declared dryly. As proof, he explained: “One of the problems of Saint-Louis is the advance of the sea, a problem that it shares with all the coastal towns, villages and hamlets. We are faced with the effects of global warming with rising waters and melting ice, which are impacting all coastal sites in the world and particularly Africa.”

He assures that the beaches are advancing by 4 to 6 m per year at the level of the Senegalese coast where the effects have been felt for several years with abandoned houses. Sonko admits the real impact of global warming on Saint-Louis. But, this requires difficult and very costly solutions. He emphasizes having counted 6 programs including four financed by the World Bank, one by the French Development Agency and another by the European Union. Obviously, we must not forget the contribution of the State of Senegal. He also announced in this regard that a study is underway by the Municipal Development Agency (Amd) and the Ministry of the Environment to evaluate all these programs.

In Saint-Louis, there is above all the problem of the breach opened in 2003 to respond to the risks of flooding, but which unfortunately had harmful side effects on fishing activity by reaching more than 6 km wide. It is moving towards the south and has become a problem by engulfing entire villages. Explaining that it is difficult for the State to slow down the breach, the Prime Minister said that “solutions are being considered to first support the populations, but also to see how to anticipate the silting and the dikes in order to slow down the side effects.”

In the same vein, he discussed fishing activity on the Senegalese coast. “Fishing, which is a noble and important activity for the country, employs more than 700,000 Senegalese actors and provides a living for millions of people. We have just arrived, temporary solutions have been developed, including discussions with the Mauritanian authorities with the renewal and upward review of the quota of licenses granted to Saint-Louis fishermen,” said the PM. Of course, he returned to the fishing agreements. And his speech has not changed. “They have allowed foreigners to harvest wildly, without respecting standards, without landing on our coasts. They are currently being re-examined and revised in order to first allow local exploitation to make the most of our fishery resources. The Minister of Fisheries is working hard to ensure that our country can fully appropriate our maritime areas in order to support fishing activity, but also to make fish accessible to the Senegalese.” He added: “We will take all measures to ensure that the exploitation of gas resources off the coast of Saint-Louis and oil resources in Sangomar cannot have an impact on fishing activity. We are not going to sacrifice our main sectors of activity for the benefit of gas or oil. It would be a gross error and irresponsible to sacrifice main activities such as fishing, agriculture and livestock farming for the benefit of another fossil fuel activity. Whatever the quantity of gas and oil we have, it will be exploited and it will run out sooner or later. It is important for us that fishing remains what it is and that it is stronger. My conviction is that we should get much more from good fishing exploitation than even from gas and oil.”

For the sustainability of cleaning activities

During this cleaning day, the Prime Minister visited in turn the beach of the chaumière in Guet-Ndar, the districts of Pikine and Guinaw Rails, and the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis to see the activities of the Setal sunu reew initiative, but also to listen to the technical services and the populations. Ousmane Sonko invited citizens to perpetuate the activities. “The real problem we have in Senegal is to keep up the pace when it comes to doing useful things. It is important that each Senegalese can sacrifice a few hours of their time per month to devote themselves to their own living environment. It is not a question of coming to take a day and do physical activity, but we need real education in behavior and real maintenance of the living environment.”
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