People living in Pikine, Saint-Louis, are urging the city to stop dumping trash at their backyard. Children are at risk of getting diseases when they play here, swimming in the river is no longer possible and even the mangrove is dieing. The rainy seasons bring about hellish visions of mosquito infested lakes with floating islands of trash. The nauseatic smell never leaves. In an attempt to ease the situation even temporarily, they brought land to berry some of the plastic and relocated the dumping ground some hundreds of meters further in the west.
Aram, Petit and Babacar dream of a public space where it would be safe, green and cosy to hang around. In Pikine, one of the biggest neighbourhoods on mainland Saint-Louis, there are no green areas at all. They would also like to practise fish farming in the river in the future.
Nearly a year ago they organized a noisy sit in at the gates of the city hall but that lead to no action whatsoever. They have also taken part and organized World Cleanup Days in the area but stronger measures are needed to clean up this mass of trash and to process it somewhere. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Pikine have no other choice than to keep inhaling it into their lungs. For how many more years?