Boké: the rio Nuñez river (former slave port) threatened with extinction

At a time when the whole world is facing up to the various environmental challenges looming on the horizon, the people of Boké, and in particular those of Bakidera, an area in the Korera district of the urban commune, have been watching helplessly for some time now as mud has massively advanced over the Rio Nuñez river. This is causing concern among a number of local residents, who believe that the river used to be a source of water for growing seeds, as well as a fishing ground for local residents. Faced with this situation, many citizens are calling on the authorities at all levels to remedy the situation before it's too late.

Historically, the Rio Nuñez river once served as an artisanal port where fishing flourished, but since the advent of the mining boom in this region, several natural habitats (flora and fauna) are threatened with extinction. This is the case, for example, of the 80 km-long river, which is in danger of disappearing forever if nothing is done, as Ibrahima Kalabane, an old riparian, explains: "This river is mystical for us because it's a place where you can sometimes see the presence of salt water and fresh water. In the days of the colonists up to the end of the first regime, small boats could disembark here and it was nice to see. The places where you see mud were completely covered with water, you couldn't even see these stones, but today it's with a heavy heart that we witness the degradation of this environment. We call on the government to take swift action to preserve this gem, for it is thanks to this that we manage to feed our families. Of course, it's here that we draw water for our crops, and it's the same place that we use for fishing".

Agreeing with his predecessor, the Bakidera youth leader, concerned about the survival of the future generation, did not fail to call on the authorities:

"You used to be able to come down here in your best clothes without getting soiled by anything, but nowadays you can't dare to come and see the river up close or cross it in your best clothes, because of the ever-growing mud. Today, even our crops are affected by it, and the fish have all fled the area. We strongly urge the State to help us, otherwise a whole generation will suffer later on", alerted Bambo DIABY

A controversial crossing

The advancing of mud on the river that separates Bakidera from downtown Boké is not without consequences for the crossing, which is a real ordeal for local residents these days. Mamadou Camara, head of the Bakidera sector, deplores this situation and invites the authorities to do something about it.

"We are currently experiencing several difficulties here, but the most frequent is the difficulty of navigating this river, which is invaded by mud. We have repeatedly asked the authorities to help us build a bridge here, but to no avail. We've been hard hit by this deterioration, which leaves us no choice but to ask for help, as many of the local pupils and shopkeepers suffer enormously when crossing the river, and some of them are late for school. Faced with this ordeal, we are still asking for help from the State."