Senegalese stop

The entry for a sailboat, in Senegal, is in Dakar or Ziguinchor in Casamance.

At Dakar, the entrance is the “Cercle de Voile de Dakar”. A few years ago, it was a very important place for the navigators where around 100 sailing boats arrived in the Hann bay. Today, only 20 boats are there.

Political and economical situations during last few years could explain this situation, the majority of the people who go across the Ocean Atlantic leave East African Coast in Canarias Islands or Cabo Verde islands...

The CDV is closed to the commercial port. The important activity generates a very intensive traffic of trucks aged of 50 years or more ...

Trucks are everywhere, lot of warehouses .... and to be honest we didn’t understand the organisation but at the end, it runs !

Environment is much polluted, there is a lot of waste and no trash can... lot of people regrets this situation and would like a better organization of the waste treatment than the current one and tries to educate their children, family, friends...

The shape of the roads in this district is very damaged et the red sand everywhere (there is no sidewalk) doesn’t help...

But, when we go in the city center, the situation is better!

The most important step of our trip in Senegal was done in the south of Dakar, in a village on the edge of the Sine Saloum river.

After more than 8 sailing hours along the Senegal coast, avoiding fishermen’s nets, a fisherman is waiting for us in Djifer city (Sine Saloum entrance). El Hadge (the wise) who knows perfectly the bolongs guided us despite the night to Ndangane village in the “bolongs” (river arm in the mangrove) as the boat kell is close to 2 meters...

Ndangane Camp is a village which get to live after the rain season beginning of October.

The village is organized around the main street where the shops are opened form 8am to 10pm.

Behind the front shops, you can find the houses.

Buildings (rooms, kitchen, ...) are located at the four square of the ground. Several generations, several families are together using the common parts.

The meals are taken together : a unique plate for all : they eat with the right hand (the youngest prefer to eat with spoon as it is more modern!). The meals are prepared by women or girls. The traditional dish is the “tiboudien” with rice and fried fish with spicy sauce!

There are some other dishes with meat (chicken, zebu), with shrimps... Some fruits finish the meal. At the end, 2 or 3 teas are drunk.

In this village, there is running water but most of families can not offer it and use the water coming from their wells : this water is used to drink, for the kitchen, to wash.... There is no “all to the sewer” but there is electricity, satellite TV...

The houses are completely closed to avoid animals intrusion like pigs, sheeps, goats eating plantings.

The community is directed by a chief, elected : he has to ensure the village organization. Sometimes, ONG’s are able to help to improve the life. For example, the residents have put in place the pick up of the garbage (named ASDES) in order to keep their village clean. You have to pay 1000CFA per month to benefice from this pick up. This is not obligatory and some resident throws the garbage everywhere. Nevertheless, thanks to this initiative coming from the residents, Ndangane is a cleaner village.

People live here thanks to business, fishing and tourism.

There are a primary school and a secondary school where we have the opportunity to present the similarity between a boat and a plane (see page actions/education - publication coming).

With the teachers, a session of the environment protection has been organized. Around 60 pupils has discovered the marina fauna and flora thanks to our partner “Argonaute” before a presentation about the plastic plague and the way to reduce it... this presentation was used for the teachers in complement with the lessons “to live with his environment (see pages Action/environment - publication coming).

At school, the official language is the French but most of the children don’t speak nor understand. The usual language in the Sine Saloum like in Dakar is the wolof. The children learn by heart the lessons without understand them. It is a real difficulty to learn.

An other issue is about the price of the education. The inscription costs around 10000CFA, in addition with the transportation around 1000CFA per day (1euro corresponds to 650CFA) and the school supplies. To go to the university, you have to have family or find a solution to earn money.

There are in the Sine Saluom two areas : one corresponds to the water and the other to the land :

  • The water : the village is built next to the “bolongs” where the fishing is the most important activity (a lot of different fishes are there), and the shrimp fish.

But, due to extensive fishing (increase from 15 boats up to 500 boats in Djiffer in 30 years), the resources decrease and the fishes are not so many as before.

  • The land : they cultivate the rice, the mils, the beans, the peanut but also some tomatoes in a craftsman... they pill chicken, pigs, sheeps, goats (they don’t use the milk) and zebus.

Far away from Ndagane, we have met the Mbellongoutte residents with around 100 families. At the center of the village, there is the chief’s house : he leads, decides, organizes the life. In this village, we give the mosquito nets (see pages actions/solidarity - publication coming) to stop the malaria plague.

Another issue, there, is the water. The village well is less and less filled : the population has to buy drinking water coming from other village to ensure the daily consumption. People are looking from help to dig the well deeper.

More globally, the economical situation is difficult and the life level is low. The cost of the food and the house are relatively big : for example, to have a house, you have to pay 50000 euros in a small village far away from a big city.

To have a car is very expensive so the amount of money put in the transportation is huge.

Even if to go to Dakar is not expensive around 2000 CFA, to go to the school, to visit the family, to go to the healer, to go to the market represents a big budget for a family.

To earn some money, most of the young people leave their village to Dakar, M’bour or Saint Louis to try to find a job, some other try their luck going in Europe like Seryne, Dou and Djibi (see pages actions/ interview- publication coming). But, it is not so easy and the risk associated is huge.

The family links are strong and you have to earn money to help your family.

Having up to four women is common : divorce is usual, family with children of previous marriage is usual.

Even if the men earn money, women take care of children and in particular the education so they have to find solutions...One example is the three keys : women can benefit from collaborative loan (see page actions/interviews- publication coming).

Senegal is a friendly country shared between the different religions (catholic, musulman..) ancestral belief and its willingness of modernization.