Rising seawater in Senegal about to swallow ‘Venice of Africa’

LAGOS, NIGERIA – MARCH 15: Children are seen on the school boat to go to a floating primary school, which was built by Nigerian Noah Shemede in Makoko known as “Venice of Africa” in Lagos, Nigeria on March 15, 2023. Makoko is a settlement on the coast of Lagos and built as a fisherman village in 18th century. ( Emmanuel Osodi – Anadolu Agency )

Coastal erosion due to climate change in Senegal is shrinking the shores of the historic city of Saint Louis day by day.

According to a 2019 report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), coastal erosion in West Africa causes coastlines to intrude an average of 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) per year.

According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, seawater in the region is also rising by 3.5 to 4 millimeters per year.

One of the places where this change in sea level is felt most intensely is the historical city of Saint Louis, which has shores to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegal River.

The city, which was used as the capital for a long time during the French colonial period, is called the “Venice of Africa” due to its colorful historical buildings and the canal passing through it.

Saint Louis, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, or Ndar as it is called in the local language, is at risk of losing some of its shores.

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