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The dawn of African climate action

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By Thierno Alassane Sall

· 3 min read

Nature always gets its vengeance on humanity’s depravities. Dozens of deaths recently in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, following a flood reminiscent of Noah’s time, are a case in point. In a matter of hours, countries with robust infrastructures were devastated, houses swallowed up, towns flooded.

At the same time, apocalyptic wildfires turned California into a huge carbon valley. This is due to recurrent droughts which dry up rivers and make forests flammable. Canada, renowned for its harsh polar climate, is suffocating under a ‘heat dome’, as thermometers threaten to melt after several days at 50°C!

It is now China’s turn, who stands on top of the podium of world polluters, to feel impacts too. Floods are causing death and considerable damage. Cataclysms that seem trivial compared to the coronavirus which left a local market to ravage the planet.

Mother Earth is acting ruthlessly because of all kinds of misbehaviours that a predatory species is leading there: Homo sapiens, which so badly bears its name. Soon this will not only be a prediction, but rather a scientific truth and it will be too late.

In Senegal, the sea is advancing into the coast and threatens to engulf entire neighbourhoods in the decades to come, including Saint-Louis, Rufisque, Sale and Mbour, among many others.

Ecological awareness must now spread across all of society. We are already experiencing the consequences of climate change, and its impact will be detrimental to populations and social order alike. What are we doing to prevent, or at least limit, the devastation to come?

Alas, in this area and others, Macky All, the President of Senegal, has chosen a cutting-down policy. Indeed, he has decided to sacrifice the casuarinas trees that protect the coastline in order to build homes. He is selling off, with obvious carelessness, the maritime public domain. It is unsurprising that such a leader is passively witnessing the regulated chopping down of the last forests of Senegal: in Casamance, in Boundou and several other parts of our Country.

In the Kolda region, for example, organised channels are selling precious wood to The Gambia. The BBC raised the alarm with edifying reports on the matter, with no more reaction than recorded after the revelations on Timisgate, the scandal involving trillions of CFA francs. That is to say, none!

Whoever is able to send our armed forces to The Gambia to “defend democracy” should be able to ensure the protection of our resources. But will someone who chops down casuarinas really act when entire forests are razed to the ground?

Those, many, who cynically undertake to chop down the casuarinas and to crush the sand dunes which offer natural protection to our coast, have knowingly chosen to expose to more and more floods our cities, their inhabitants and their heritage.

Extreme calamities will dramatically increase, with cycles of droughts alternating with floods. There is no need of an oracle to know this. Macky All [the President of Senegal], elected to ensure the safety of the Senegalese, has become the source of their misfortunes. This is not a judgement of values, but my rational observation. His indisputable contribution to the unleashing of the third Covid-19 wave is proof of this.

Energy Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

A telecommunications and civil aviation engineer by training, Thierno Alassane Sall is now one of the most influential policy makers in Africa, having held several senior government positions in Senegal since 2012. Thierno has been a key member in promoting clean energy and environmental policies as the Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy Development, and the Minister of Infrastructures and Transports of Senegal. During this time, he has also been the Director General of Telecommunications. Thierno is the President and Founder of the new political party ‘République des Valeurs’ and is now a Deputy in the National Assembly of Senegal.

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