It is a seasonal ritual, therefore predictable, the consequences of which have again proved tragic. Every year, between July and October, the rainy season transforms Dakar into an open-air swimming pool, causing a lot of inconvenience and sometimes tragic damage.
On August 5, torrential rains fell on the Senegalese capital, paralyzing traffic, causing power and water cuts in many neighborhoods and causing various damage in the overpopulated conurbation where pile up nearly 25% of the 17 million Senegalese.
That day, a motorist was killed in the Soumbédioune tunnel, on the western cornice of Dakar, where the slope taken by the vehicles amplified the phenomenon caused by sudden rainfall. While the cars, immobilized by the flood, found themselves buried in a few minutes, he was unable to get out of his vehicle in time.
“No one thought of installing an overflow system in this tunnel,” analyzes architect Pierre Goudiaby Atepa. Above 1.20 m to 1.30 m, this would have allowed water to flow out of the tunnel. Otherwise, we should have closed it to traffic, ”he adds. According to the architect, currently mobilized for the construction of an annex to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, “the establishment of an effective sanitation system is one of the priorities in a large city”.
Senegal – Pierre Goudiaby Atepa: “It is up to the African continent to invent its city of tomorrow”
Because if no one knows to prevent heavy rainfall to fall each year on the Dakar region, it would be possible to mitigate the effects. From one end of the political spectrum to the other, there is thus agreement in pointing to the urban anarchy that characterizes the anarchic evolution of the Senegalese capital, where constructions all over the place, over the past two decades, have accelerated the process.
Added to this is the incivility of some Dakar residents, who dump a lot of waste in the canals
“We let the populations settle in areas that were nevertheless classified not to build [non constructibles] “, remarks the opponent Thierno Bocoum, the president of the Generational Alliance for the interests of the Republic (Agir). “To this is added the incivility of some Dakar residents, who dump a lot of waste in the canals, such as Canal 4, which crosses the capital and are supposed to allow the evacuation of rainwater towards the ocean. The authorities should clean out these canals annually before the fishing season. rains”, he adds.