Senegal: desalination plant planned off the coast of

The desalination plant project planned on the Dakar coast, at the bottom of the Mamelles hill, should make it possible to solve a major water outage problem in Dakar and meet the very high demand for drinking water. Coastguards and restaurateurs are called together this Friday, May 6 to discuss their departure from the beach to make room for the pipes and the pumping station, the mobilization of a collective of locals is scheduled for 2.30pm UT to say no to this desalination plant they consider environmentally hazardous.

From our Dakar correspondent,

Like every weekend, Arnold Abongo enjoys a sunny Sunday with friends on the beach, lying on a colorful rug. A little further on is a sign “no to the desalination plant” that caught the attention of the young Congolese who lived in Dakar for a few months.

“Me, I’m sorry to see this project that will kill this atmosphere and this meeting place in Dakar. Dakar is known for being a cosmopolitan city with many communities. The beach is a place to meet and kill it, I think that it is very unfair “, regrets Arnold Abongo.

In her restaurant built of recycled wood that is in danger of disappearing, Amadou Maguette Dieng – nicknamed Max – runs a name collection to raise awareness among users about the dangers of this factory. “There is noise, odor pollution. The salt will be released into the sea in a nesting environment. So we think it is abnormal and we respond by saying ‘no to the factory’. We do not want compensation, we do not want money, we “We do not want pollution. We do not want them to destroy our sanctuary, Dakar is quite polluted …”, Max emphasizes.

Is the environment threatened When the seawater has been converted to fresh water, the desalination plant releases brine, ie hot water with a high concentration of salt. This residue is harmful to the environment and to marine ecosystems, according to a UN report from January 2019.

Fishermen are therefore worried about this fish farming area. Omar Diagne, chairman of the association SOS Littoral, also reminds that the site Mamelles is protected by the law on historical monuments. “The site is a historical heritage because there is a volcano that dates from the Quaternary period. The site of Mamelle’s lighthouse is an archeological site because there are stratified rocks. Therefore, the law is violated,” he shows.

“A public investment of general interest” But this desalination plant with a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters per day will be able to respond to recurring water outages in the Dakar region. El Hadj Ada Ndao, from the National Water Company of Senegal (SONES) responsible for the project, wants to reassure about the negative effects of this facility and the beach’s accessibility to the population, except during the working period.

“We do not build hotels. We are talking about a water desalination plant that will produce water, a source of life. It is a public investment of general interest. There is no risk because the dilution of brine at this discharge point, the ideal depth of 20m, already makes it possible to find the same properties of seawater in terms of salinity, but also in terms of temperature, says El Hadj Ada Ndao.

The first stone will be laid on May 31 for commissioning of the facility in 2025.

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