Senegal halts coastal construction in Dakar for two months

Senegal’s new government has announced a two-month pause on construction projects along the coast of the capital, Dakar, and surrounding areas.

This move comes amidst rising concerns about environmental damage and limited public access to the shoreline.

Dakar’s stunning Atlantic coastline has witnessed a boom in development in recent years, with luxury apartments, offices, and hotels rapidly transforming the landscape.

However, this rapid development has been met with criticism from residents who say they are losing access to the ocean, and environmentalists who decry the “illegal privatisation of the coastline.”

The government, led by newly elected President Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has pledged to investigate the situation.

A commission will be established to verify the legality of permits for existing and planned constructions along the public shoreline.

This follows an earlier, unofficial halt to construction activity observed by AFP journalists in late April.

The suspension has raised concerns within some economic sectors, particularly the construction industry, which employs a significant portion of the workforce.

However, President Faye, who campaigned on a platform of breaking with the previous administration, appears determined to address environmental concerns.

This move stands in stark contrast to the actions of his predecessor, Macky Sall, who last year signed a decree declassifying a large coastal forest area to pave the way for infrastructure projects and housing.

The two-month pause offers Senegal a chance to assess the situation and develop a plan for responsible coastal development that balances economic needs with environmental protection and public access.

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